Beaches off the beaten path… and other places to swim

Article Index

Places to swim in Maryland


Beaver Dam

Baltimore County

At Beaver Dam Swimming Club in Cockeysville, your family can swim in the two pools, play beach volleyball and swing from a Tarzan swing or jump off the small cliffs into the freshwater rock quarry. There is also a snack bar and grills for picnics.

Admission: Adults: $15-$18, children 11 & under: $13–$14

Lifeguards on duty when club is open. 10820 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville or 410-785-2323


Betterton Beach

Kent County

This 5-acre, family-oriented, waterfront park has 300 feet of beach for swimming and 700 feet of shoreline access. There is a bathhouse with public restrooms and a short boardwalk, with benches, lighting and handicap access. A picnic pavilion is located on a bay view bluff. There is also a fishing jetty, public pier and parking. The beach is near the mouth of the Sassafras River in the northwest part of Kent County, which lowers the salinity and makes the water free of sea nettles.

Admission: Free

No lifeguards. Swim at your own risk.

Main Street, Betterton or 410-348-5522

Brownies Beach (Or Bay Front Park)

Calvert County

Bay Front Park is on the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, a half-mile south of the town of Chesapeake Beach. It is one of the few publicly accessible beaches on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay and is a good place to collect small fossils. It is a very small, quaint, back-to-nature beach with no jellyfish netting, beach house or concessions.

No lifeguard on duty. Swim at your own risk.

Admission: Memorial Day to Labor Day is free for town residents, $5-$8 for county residents and $9-$18 for non-county residents.

Half mile south of Chesapeake Beach on Route 261. or 410-257-2230

Breezy Point Beach

Calvert County

There is a half-mile sandy beach with a netted swimming area, shaded picnic space, grills, volleyball, a playground, bathhouses, and a fishing and crabbing pier. Camping is also an option. Open May through October, 6 a.m. to dusk.

No Lifeguards. Swim at your own risk.

Admission: Weekends and holidays Memorial Day to Labor Day weekends, $6-$10; weekdays and off-season weekends, $4-6. Cash only.

5300 Breezy Point Road, Chesapeake Beach or call 410-535-0259

Cunningham Falls State Park

Frederick County

The William Houck Area, located three miles west of Thurmont on Route 77, has a lake, falls and camping. Swimming is allowed in three designated areas of Hunting Creek Lake that have sandy beaches, but swimming is not allowed at the falls. Arrive early as the park often reaches capacity by mid- to late-morning on weekends and holidays, and visitors can be turned away.

Lifeguards on duty daily, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Admission: $3 per person during the week, $5 on weekends and holidays, Memorial Day to Labor Day.

14039 Catoctin Hollow Road, Thurmont or 301-271-7574

Cascade Lake

cascade lake1

Carroll County

Check out this 6-acre lake, nestled among 70 acres of rolling hills and wooded areas. Cascade Lake is spring fed with a gently sloping sandy bottom. There is a large roped-off area for swimming, which includes various size waterslides, and platforms for jumping. There is also a Spray 'N Playground.

Open Tuesday to Sunday June 10-Aug. 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and until 7 p.m. weekends/holidays.

Lifeguards on duty.

Admission: $8-$15.

2844 Snydersburg Road, Hampstead or 410-374-9111

Calvert Cliffs State Park

Calvert County

Calvert Cliffs State Park is a day-use park featuring a sandy beach, unique fossils, recycled tire playground, a freshwater and tidal marshland and 13 miles of hiking trails. The massive cliffs dominate the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay for thirty miles in Calvert County and were formed over 15 million years ago. Today, these cliffs reveal the remains of prehistoric species including sharks, whales, rays, and seabirds that were the size of small airplanes. There is 2-mile hike from the parking lot, along an unimproved trail, to the cliffs/beach area. The beach is about 1/4 mile long.

Admission: $5 per vehicle for in-state residents and $7 per vehicle for out-of-state residents.

No lifeguard on duty. Swimming is not suggested.

9500 H. G. Trueman Road, Lusby or 301-743-7613

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