Anyone looking for an outdoor park adventure that has a multitude of activities, services, and amenities will gravitate to North Point State Park on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The park is along the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay, Back River, and Shallow Creek in historic Maryland. There are wetland areas, along with Black Marsh which is a large bayside marsh. In 1987 the park was acquired by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and originally called Black Marsh State Park, and provided resource protection. The official name of the park was later changed to its present North Point State Park name.
There is evidence of a population of humans in the North Point area for over 9000 years. In the early 20th century the park boasted an amusement Park that offered recreation and relaxation with gardens, a dance hall, bowling alley, restaurant, and a pier that led out into the bay. The impressive park was on a trolley line from Baltimore and was probably the first premier park located on the Bay.
The site of the park provided critical access to Baltimore during the war of 1812. British troops’ in route to Baltimore passed through the park on what is now known as the “Defenders Trail”. Today most of the park is woody, with active agricultural areas and wild fields providing support to an array of wildlife and maintenance of water quality in the region.
North Point State Park
The park is open daily from November 1 through April 30 during the hours of 8:00 am to sunset and from May 1 through October 31 during the hours of 6:00 am to sunset. The park, which blends outdoor activities with historical study, also provides access to a wading beach, fishing, and crabbing.
A major attraction of the park is that it hosts a vast array of plants, animals, and aquatic life. There are wild lands and wetland areas along the Chesapeake Bay shoreline, wooded areas, and marshes. There are active farm fields that provide resources to the area.
Bird watching – what can be better than spotting one of the several Bald Eagle breeding pairs in the park? The bird watching opportunities are boundless, with bluebirds, a great blue heron, blue jays and blue grosbeak birds in their habitat. The park provides many varieties of birds for bird watchers. Add butterfly varieties, such as the monarch, black swallowtail, cabbage white, tiger swallowtail, and morning cloak to the mix, and the binoculars get a great workout. The park is even on the path of the monarch butterflies annual migration.
Fishing – the fishing at North Point State Park is unparallel. Since the park is on the Chesapeake Bay there are yellow and white perch, spot, sunfish, bluefish, striped bass, spotted sea trout, carp, skate, catfish, black sea bass, croaker, and gar. Uncommon fish in the area include trout, largemouth bass, and the rare stingray. A fishing license is required for fishing and crabbing along the wooden or concrete and grass pier that juts 1,200 feet onto the Bay.
Mammals and Reptiles – for people who like things that creep and crawl, there are many different types of creatures. Cute eastern cottontail rabbits, squirrels, muskrats, opossum, and even red foxes inhabit the park. There is also the non-poisonous northern water snake. Different varieties of turtle include the diamondback terrapin, eastern mud turtle, ever-popular snapping turtle, and spotted turtle.
The Multi-Purpose Visitor Center is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. In the Center are park information, souvenirs, photo albums, and historical items for purchase. There is also a wildlife display, and a first-aid station is available in the Center.
For the hiking and biking enthusiasts there are many trails that are marked for observation of birds and wildlife. Bikes are not allowed in the wild lands, but other biking trails provide wonderful nature-watching opportunities.
Pack a picnic basket and enjoy a meal while looking at the spectacular view of the Chesapeake Bay. For large group events the historic Trolley Station can accommodate up to 400 people. The Trolley Station was once the actual trolley stop for people entering the park, and is now an open-air pavilion.
There are many activities and history at North Point State Park on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. For more information visit their web site at northpointstatepark.net.