Late summer fun at 6 Maryland state parks

Article Index

EASTERN MARYLAND

Janes Island State Park, Somerset County

Janes Island is one of the quietest and most remote state parks in Maryland. The park is divided into the mainland, with campsites and cabins, a conference center and a small marina, and the island, which includes 2,900 acres of saltmarsh, more than 30 miles of water trails and isolated beaches.

The water trails are protected from the current by the marshes so they are suitable for both expert and novice paddlers. Anglers can fish for striped bass, sea trout, spot, croaker, flounder and bluefish. Blue crabs are plentiful for those who prefer crabbing.

Visitors may fish and crab from the docks at the marina or launch a boat. Kayaks and canoes are available to rent at the marina for $10 an hour or $50 a day.

An observation tower makes it easy to watch birds, and fall migration patterns bring some great birds through the area. Be warned that the mosquitos can be brutal, particularly after the sun sets, until cool fall weather arrives.

The park is located near Crisfield on Alfred Lawson Drive. Open 5:30 a.m. to sunset through November. No admission fee for day use. 410-968-1565, dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/janesisland.aspx

Pocomoke River State Park, Worcester County

Located in the southwestern part of Worcester County, Pocomoke River State Park is nestled among the 15,000 acres of the Pocomoke State Forest.

One of the main attractions is the unique cypress swamp, which borders the Pocomoke River and is known for its excellent fishing and beautiful water. Explore the trails by renting a rowboat, electric boat, canoe or kayak at the marina.

The park's upland forest and swamp are home to a wide range of animals including bald eagles, river otters and more than 50 species of fish. Anglers can fish in the Pocomoke River or the "Fish for Fun" pond across from the marina parking lot.

There are two sections to the park: Shad Landing and Milburn Landing. Shad Landing offers the vast majority of services, such as the camp store, a swimming pool, boat rentals and a nature center. Both areas offer camping, including year-round heated cabins, but Milburn Landing is the quieter area of the park.

The pool is open to for campers and day visitors for a nominal fee (free for campers and $6 for day-use). The campground is about 40 minutes away from Ocean City, Assateague and Chincoteague Islands and the towns of Snow Hill and Berlin, all of which are considerably quieter in late August and September.

Milburn Landing is located at 3036 Nassawango Rd., Pocomoke City. Shad Landing is at 3461 Worcester Highway, Snow Hill. Open sunrise to sunset. No admission fee for day use. 410-632-2566, dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/pocomokeriver.aspx

Tuckahoe State Park, Caroline County

SPropescourseTuckahoeWThe ropes course at Tuckahoe State ParkThe park offers a great camping experience with lots of family activities. Twelve miles of mostly flat hiking, biking and equestrian trails are perfect for exploring at a leisurely pace. Tuckahoe Creek passes through the middle of the park and, along with a 60-acre lake, offers boating and fishing opportunities.

Wildlife such as bald eagles, osprey, great blue herons, turtles, beavers and muskrat abound. Adkins Arboretum sits on 500 acres of the park, providing 3 miles of surfaced walkways winding through native woodlands.

The park has plenty of ranger-led activities all summer, including guided canoe and kayak trips. A ropes course with a 40-foot rock wall, tube net, zip line, 50-foot giant swing, and more is open several times a year for public use.

The park is located at 13070 Crouse Mill Rd., Queen Anne. Open daily sunrise to sunset. No day-use fee. 410-820-1668, dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/eastern/tuckahoe.aspx

By Regina Verow

Updated June 2017

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