The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S., provides Maryland residents and visitors with numerous recreational activities. From tubing and kayaking to swimming and fishing, here are just a few examples of water-based recreational activities in the region.
At Aberdeen Proving Ground
APG’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Outdoor Recreation program offers recreational fishing and crabbing from the shore of APG, throughout the year. A valid Maryland State fishing license is required for all recreational fishing and crabbing. For more information visit https:// www.apgmwr.com/recreation-and-sports/fishing.
Outdoor Recreation, or ODR, also has canoes and kayaks available to rent to MWR-eligible patrons, from April 1 to Nov. 1, based on the weather. Outdoor Recreation will offer kayaking classes and excursions in the spring and summer. For more information, visit Bldg. 2184, or call 410-278-4124.
Susquehanna State Park
Just 10 miles northwest of APG North (Aberdeen), Susquehanna State Park offers countless hiking and bike trails, and unrivaled views of the Susquehanna River dividing Harford and Cecil counties.
According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, “the park is home to some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Maryland and the river itself beckons fishermen and boaters alike.”
Boaters can utilize the Lapidum boat ramp year-round for a $10 service charge for state residents. Depending on the season, novice and professional anglers alike can catch fish from the river.
“The annual shad and herring runs in early spring are an awesome sight,” according to the Maryland DNR, and perch, catfish and carp are also in abundance.
Because the Susquehanna River, below the Conowingo Dam, is considered tidal water, a Chesapeake Bay Sports Fishing License is required to fish.
The park also features a two-loop campground with a total 69 camping sites. Open April through October, the campground features comfort stations with hot showers and pets are welcome.
Park hours and fees, trail maps and guides and upcoming events can be found on the Susquehanna State Park website. For more information, visit http://dnr2.maryland.gov/publiclands/Pages/central/susquehanna.aspx.
Gunpowder Falls State Park
Discover the scenic side of Maryland with a visit to Gunpowder Falls State Park, located in northeastern Baltimore and western Harford counties. Comprised of more than 18,000 acres, the park features more than 120 miles of trails, protected state wildlands, historic sites and much more.
The Hammerman Area, located in Chase, Md, features 1,500 feet of beach and a swimming area on the banks of the Gunpowder River. Other amenities include concessions, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Those looking for more adventure can rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and wind surfboards at the boat shop. There is a fee to enter the Hammerman Area; price depends on date of visit.
The Dundee Creek Marina, also located in Chase, offers boat launching, rowboat rental, fuel and a marina store. The Hereford Area, located near York Road in Parkton, features hiking, fishing, canoeing and kayaking.
For more information about Gunpowder Falls State Park call 410-592-2897. To learn more about Gunpowder Falls State Park’s six locations, and to obtain trail maps, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov /publiclands/Pages/central/ gunpowder.aspx.
Mariner Point Park
Mariner Point Park is a small waterfront park in Joppa, located just five miles from APG South (Edgewood). It is managed by the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation.
The 37.7-acre park is located on a peninsula between Taylors and Foster Branch creeks. The park consists of undeveloped woodland and developed areas, and amenities include a volleyball court, a 1.05-mile walking path, a playground, two pavilions, grills and fishing piers.
In warmer months the park is a popular site for picnicking and boating, especially on weekends. Pavilions are available on a first come, first served basis on weekdays. Reservations are required on the weekend, for a fee. Near the entrance of the park is a boat launch which is open from dawn to dusk.
Mariner Point Park is located at 100 Kearney Drive in Joppa, 21085. For more information,visit http://www.harfordcountymd.gov. To reserve the pavilion, call 410-612-1608.
Rocks State Park
Rocks State Park is located in rural northern Harford County. The main section of the park includes three picnic areas, 3.5-miles of hiking trails, and Deer Creek offers fishing, wading and tubing.
The Falling Branch area of Rocks State Park is a popular spot for swimming. Located about five miles north of the main park, it is home to the 17-foot high Kilgore Falls, which is Maryland’s second highest vertical drop waterfall. For more information, visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/ publiclands/Pages/central/rocks.aspx.
Patapsco Valley State Park
Spread across more than 16,000 acres in Baltimore and Howard counties sits the perfect place for family fun in the great outdoors: Patapsco Valley State Park.
Patapsco, Maryland’s first state park founded in 1907, extends for 32 miles along the Patapsco River. During warmer weather, visitors can take a relaxing float down the Patapsco River. Tube rentals costs $20 per person and include a life jacket and map.
Anglers can fish nearly 10 miles of the Patapsco River with two locations stocking trout in the fall and spring. Different species of bass, sunfish, suckers, shad and herring can also be found. Swimming is permitted in all areas unless otherwise posted. All locations are unguarded and are swim at your own risk.
For more information about Patapsco Valley State Park and other state parks, historical or recreational areas in Maryland, visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for state-operated parks within Maryland at http://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/ Pages/central/patapsco.aspx.
Read more about regional outdoor recreational activities in upcoming “All Things Maryland” articles, http://apgnews.com/category/special-focus/all-things-maryland/.