Tag Archives: Captain John Smith Trail

St. Clement’s Island State Park

38370 Point Breeze Road, Colton’s Point, MD 20626
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/stclements.asp

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Visit the site of Maryland’s birthplace.  In 1634, English settlers landed here to establish a colony of religious freedom.  Enjoy a hike around the 40 acre island, a relaxing picnic at the pavilion, and scenic views of the Potomac River.  The Island also features the newly reconstructed Blackistone Lighthouse.  Educational panels provide island history.  St. Clements Island Museum is located nearby on the main shore.  Pier and docking facilities are available.  A seasonal water taxi to the island runs on select weekends from the museum.

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St. Clement’s Island Museum

38370 Point Breeze Road, Colton’s Point, MD20626
Phone: 301-769-2222  •  www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/museums

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The museum’s exhibits and new orientation film trace the history of St. Clement’s Island and the English colonization in Maryland with emphasis on the landing of the first 140 colonists on near-by St. Clements Island in 1634.  The museum also holds artifacts that tell the story of life on the Potomac River in earlier times.  On the grounds is a 19th-century one-room school used until the 1960s and relocated from nearby Charlotte Hall.  Maryland Civil War Trails Site.  The museum has a pier and docking facilities, and offers seasonal water taxi service to the island, weather permitting.  Also visit the reconstructed Blackistone Lighthouse on St. Clements Island. Group and student tours available.  Call for dates of water taxi service and Blackistone Lighthouse tours.

Point Lookout State Park

11175 Point Lookout Road, Scotland, MD 20687
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/pointlookout.asp

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Located at the tip of St. Mary’s County at the confluence of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay, Point Lookout served as a watch post during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  During the Civil War, it served as a Union hospital and a prison camp for captured confederate soldiers.  There are 143 wooded campsites available; 26 of these have full hook-ups. 31 of these have electric.  One campsite for youth groups is also available; reservations are required for the youth group site by calling the park.  The park features three fishing areas available 24 hours, including a 710 foot pier (24 hour operation May 1-November 30). A valid Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing license and appropriate stamps are required. Swimming is available from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Lifeguards are on duty.  The beach area has grills, picnic tables, and a playground.   Facilities include showers and restrooms.  A boat launch facility and fish-cleaning station are available for boaters. Boat rentals and supplies are also available at the camp store.  The Civil War Museum/Nature Center is open seasonally.  Park open daily dawn to dusk April – October and 10AM to 4PM, November – March.  Call for museum hours.  Point Lookout occasionally fills to capacity on summer weekends and holiday weekends.  During these times you will not be able to enter the park, nor will you be able to drive through the park.  You may call 301-872-5688 to check on our visitation volume, however we can make no guarantees that we will not be filled to capacity by the time you arrive.

Newtowne Neck State Park

Newtown Neck Road, Compton, MD 20627
Phone: 301-872-5688
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/newtowne.asp

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Cradled by Breton Bay, the Potomac River and St. Clements Bay, this 776-acre property of woodlands, wetlands and agricultural fields recently purchased by the State of Maryland offers low impact recreational opportunities such as biking, walking, birding and fishing. Capt. John Smith explored the waters surrounding the property in 1608. Newtowne was the first settlement in the Maryland province after St. Mary’s City. Its geographic location places it within view of St. Clement’s Island where the English colonists first landed in 1634. Prior to its settlement by the colonists, the Piscataway Indians and their forebears had occupied the site for many centuries. The park is open daily dawn to dusk. Check website for park opening dates.

Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Historic Park

44720 Lighthouse Road, Piney Point, MD 20674
Phone: 301-994-1471  •  www.stmarysmd.com/recreate/museums

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Climb the oldest lighthouse on the Potomac River, constructed in 1836.  The site was once a summer resort for Washington dignitaries including several U.S. presidents.  Today, a 6-acre park surrounds the lighthouse and keepers quarters with a picnic area, kayak launch, a boardwalk, pier and sandy beach.  The museum details that site’s history and also includes artifacts from the WW II U-1105 Black Panther German submarine which lies just offshore in an area designated as the state’s first Historic Shipwreck Dive Preserve.  A maritime exhibit of historic wooden boats that once plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay is housed in a separate building.  Accessible by water, call for information.

Historic St. Mary’s City

18751 Hogaboom Lane, St. Mary’s City, MD 20686
Phone: 240-895-4990  •  http://www.hsmcdigshistory.org

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Historic St. Mary’s City is an outdoor museum located on the site of Maryland’s first colony and first capital.  The museum protects one of the nation’s finest colonial archaeology sites.  Decades of research are the foundation of living history exhibits assembled across the landscape.  Highlights include the Town Center, where visitors may tour Smith’s Ordinary, a 17th-century forbearer of the modern hotel, and the Print House, where they will hear the story of the first printer south of Boston.  Nearby, the Woodland Indian Hamlet details the lives of the Yaocomaco Indians who assisted the first colonists.  The Godiah Spray Tobacco Plantation is a working farm with first-person interpreters and heirloom livestock.  The Maryland Dove, a working representation of the square-rigged vessel that carried Lord Baltimore’s original expedition to Maryland is moored on the St. Mary’s River, which appears much as it was 375 years ago.  Discover Maryland’s legacy of liberty at the Brick Chapel, a symbol of the colony’s early practice of religious toleration, and the St. John’s Site Museum, which encloses the excavation of the house where the state’s first legislators met.  There is also a Visitor Center with exhibits, a museum shop, and a network of trails.  Accessible by water, call for information.

Smallwood State Park

2750 Sweden Point Road, Marbury, MD 20658
Phone: 301-743-7613  •  www.dnr.state.md.us
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Located on a Potomac River tributary, the 628-acre park features a marina, boat launch, camping, tournament level bass fishing, the Mattawoman Creek Art Center and Smallwood’s Retreat, home of Revolutionary War General William Smallwood.

Chapel Point State Park

Chapel Point Road, Port Tobacco, 20677
Phone: 301-743-7613
www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/southern/chapelpoint.html

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This little out of the way ramp has a very scenic setting and is ideal for car toppers, canoes or kayaks– no trailered boats allowed. Located on the beautiful and historic Port Tobacco River, the ramp is simply a low spot in the shoreline with a sand and gravel launch. No launch fee, parking is limited, gravel road to ramp. Route 301 to La Plata, take Route 6 West (Port Tobacco Road) left yield onto Chapel Point Road. Follow Chapel Point Road to park entrance on right (gravel road) and follow signs to the ramp.

Thomas Stone National Historic Site

6655 Rose Hill Road, Port Tobacco, MD 20677
Phone: 301-392-1776 • www.nps.gov/thst

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This site features Haberdeventure, the NPS-operated home of five generations of the Stone family, including Thomas Stone, one of Maryland’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.  The site includes a visitor center and family cemetery.