Susquehanna State Park

Susquehanna State Park (MD)

Located along the Susquehanna River valley with its heavy forest cover and rocky terrain, Susquehanna State Park offers a wide variety of outdoor recreational opportunities as well as points of historical significance. The park is home to some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Maryland and the river itself beacons fishermen and boaters alike. Susquehanna State Park also contains a very family friendly campground with traditional campsites and cabins. History buffs will be drawn to the restored Rock Run Historic Area with its working grist mill, the Carter-Archer Mansion, Jersey Toll House and the remains of the Susquehanna Tidewater Canal.

The river offers excellent fishing opportunities, including pike, perch, and bass for shoreline anglers or boating anglers who launch from the Lapidum Boat Ramp.

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Image Credit: Susquehanna State Park

Hours

9 a.m. to Sunset
Picnic Area open 10 a.m. to Sunset.

(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 Service Charges:

Deer Creek Picnic Area, daily March – October $2/vehicle; out-of-state residents $4/vehicle; open weekends only November - February

Boat Launch Charges: $10/vehicle; out-of-state residents $12.

Activities

Fishing--Susquehanna State Park has direct access to the river where, depending on the season, anglers can improve their skills while catching striped bass as well as large and small mouth bass. The annual shad and herring runs in early spring are an awesome sight. Perch, catfish and carp are also in abundance in the Susquehanna. The river, from the Conowingo Dam to the mouth where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay, is tidal water. The Chesapeake Bay Sports Fishing License (tidal license) is required in order to fish this portion of the Susquehanna River. Fishing in Deer Creek requires a non-tidal fishing license.

Camping-- The Susquehanna State Park campground contains two loops with a total of 69 sites, six of which are electric, and six camper cabins. Each loop has its own comfort station with hot showers.

Picnic area--The Deer Creek picnic area offers shaded picnic tables, grills, two picnic shelters and a modern restroom. Large open fields close by are great for family games or blanket and basket picnics. A freshwater pond is on site and is ideal for the novice angler. The pavilions are available for rent for your family reunion or company picnic. Pavilion use is by reservation only.

Boating--The park's Lapidum Boating Facility offers direct access to the river and the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay just a short trip down stream.

Hunting--Designated areas of the park are open to bow hunting for deer only. The hunting areas are open from October throughout the end of January. Hunting is allowed by permit only.

Susquehanna State Park is also home of the privately run Steppingstone Museum. Exhibits include antique farm implements, woodwrights shop, blacksmith shop, decoy carving shop and restored farm house.

Historic sites--History buffs will love touring the operational 200 year old Rock Run Grist Mill, as well as the Carter-Archer mansion. This area also contains the Jersey Toll House which at one time was the collection point for travelers crossing the covered bridge spanning the Susquehanna River. The remnants of the Susquehanna Tidewater Canal can be seen here as it parallels the river from Havre de Grace to Wrightsville, Pennsylvania.

Riding and Hiking Trails-More than 15 miles of trails are available for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking.

Facilities

  • Boat launch
  • Campfire programs
  • Campsites
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Fishing
  • Flat water canoeing
  • Hiking trails
  • Historic sites of interest
  • Visitor information center
  • Pet trail
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Riding trails
  • Bow hunting area and archery range

Accessibility

The Greenways Trail from Conowingo to Stafford Road is accessible. Also available are accessible campsites and boat ramps.

Pets

Pet policy at http://dnr.maryland.gov/Publiclands/Pages/pets.aspx

History

When Captain John Smith and his crew encountered Massowomeck Indians in the Susquehanna flats, near the mouth of the Sassafras River, Smith tried to initiate trade. 

The Massowomeck resisted, but eventually two unarmed young men rowed out to meet the Englishmen.

Smith gave them each a little metal bell, which was a great novelty. This was enough to entice the rest of the group to join and a brisk trade session ensued.

Smith’s crew acquired venison, bear meat, bear skins, and weapons such as spears, clubs, bows, and arrows.

Later in the journey, these weapons led other tribes to believe the Englishmen had defeated the Massowomeck—their enemies—in battle.

Smith did not challenge these assumptions, and the Nanticoke and Susquehannock Indians received his crew warmly.

Weather

Last updated: January 15, 2019
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail Star Spangled Banner Trail
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