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Newtowne Neck State Park is situated on a 794 acre peninsula that is surrounded by Breton Bay, St. Clements Bay, and the Potomac River.
There are seven miles of undevoped, ecologically and recreationally important waterfront in the park.
Throughout the park there are a variety of activities that are popular. There are hiking and walking trails throughout the park, as well as areas designated for hunting during specific times of year. Birding is also popular throughout the entire park with a variety of shorebirds alsong the peninsula shoreline. A canoe and kayak launch at the waterfront is available for launching during park hours. Fishing is allowed with a licence year-round at the shoreline.
(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.)
History of the Newtowne Neck State Park
The Department of Natural Resources purchased Newtowne Neck in late April of 2009. The land was purchased to protect the waterfront from development. The purchase of Newtowne Neck provides the ability to preserve diverse natural water and land areas, safeguard wildlife habitats, conserve sustainable forest lands, and protect the quality of the Chesapeake Bay. The site features two paddle-in campsites, located to provide a quiet and secluded “backcountry” experience, are ideal for multiday and overnight paddling trips on Breton Bay, Potomac River and St. Clement’s Bay.
Newtowne Neck is also designated as the first historic district in St. Mary’s County and is listed on the National Register of Historic places.
American Indian History in the Park Area
Newtowne Neck was home to the Piscataway Native American Tribe and their ancestors for many centuries before its settlement by the colonists. The property, Newtowne Neck, is the site of the first settlement in Maryland after the original settlement in Saint Mary’s City. The original colonists landed on St. Clement’s Island in 1634. In 1640, William Bretton was granted 750 acres from Cecelius Calvert for the Newtowne Neck tract. In 1668, the Society of Jesus acquired the property from William Bretton in exchange for 40,000 pounds of tobacco. William and his wife, Temperance, donated one and one-half acres of their property in 1661 to the Society of Jesus to establish a chapel and cemetery. The property was maintained by the Society of Jesus until they withdrew from the land in 1967 to work in other areas.