Calvert Cliffs State Park

Calvert Cliffs State Park

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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 located in Calvert County.

The massive cliffs from which Calvert Cliffs State Park was named dominate the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay for roughly 24 miles in Calvert County and were formed over 10 to 20 million years ago when all of Southern Maryland was covered by a warm, shallow sea. When the sea receded the cliffs were exposed and began eroding.

Today these cliffs reveal the remains of prehistoric species Including sharks, whales, rays, and seabirds that were the size of small airplanes.

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Hours

The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily, year round.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Fees

Day use is $5 per vehicle.  A small bus is $10 and large bus is $25.  Cash only.

History

Captain John Smith and his crew began their first Chesapeake Bay voyage along the southeastern shore, where they stopped on Lower Hooper Island in early June 1608.

From there, Smith saw gleaming cliffs on the western shore, barely visible above the horizon and yellow in the morning sunlight.

Smith and his crew crossed the Bay to explore what he saw—30 miles of cliffs between Drum Point and Little Cove Point. Today, this stretch is called Calvert Cliffs.

Smith wrote that the small tidal rivers north of the cliffs were thick with woods and underbrush and full of wild game, but he did not see any humans. 

The explorers were eager to sail further up the Bay and contact the Massawomeck tribe. They traveled north past the Severn River and White Hall Creek, taking advantage of a strong southerly wind.

Activities

Fossil Hunting: Hike 2 miles from the parking lot along an unimproved trail to the cliffs/beach area. Visitors may hunt for fossils on the open beach area and keep what they find. Because of the constant erosion of the cliffs, access to the cliffs is no longer permitted.

Hiking: Thirteen miles of marked foot trails are open to the public. Bicycles are restricted to the service road.

Picnicking: Picnic tables and grills are available on a first come, first serve basis. A pavilion can accommodate approximately 50 people and is available for rental by contacting Point Lookout State Park at 301-872-5688.

Fishing: A one acre fishing pond is located in the picnic area. A Maryland Freshwater fishing license is required for anyone 16 years and older. A Maryland Sportfishing license is required for Bay fishing at the beach.

Youth Group Camping: There are six sites available for youth groups. Sites are open April 1 and close the end of November.

Hunting: Approximately 550 acres are open to hunting for upland game, turkey and deer. Upland game species include squirrels and rabbits. Turkey hunting is permitted only during the spring gobbler season. Deer hunting is permitted during seasons established by the Wildlife and Heritage Division. All hunters must register at the hunter parking area.

Facilities

Picnic Areas: Picnic tables and grills are available on a first come, first serve basis. The pavilion can accommodate approximately 50 people and is available through our reservation system.

Recycled Tire Playground: Calvert Cliffs State Park offers an accessible tire playground located in the main day-use area.

Accessibility

Handicap access to the beach can be arranged by calling the headquarters office at 301-743-7613 at least two weeks prior to your visit.

Pets

Pets on a leash are allowed in Calvert Cliffs State Park.

Events

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Weather

Main image: Calvert Cliffs State Park
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