Flag Ponds Nature Park

Flag Ponds Nature Park

For hundreds of years the forces of nature have reshaped the Chesapeake Bay shoreline of Flag Ponds Nature Park, creating a remarkable variety of natural environments -- from sandy beach, to freshwater ponds, to the forested heights of Calvert Cliffs. Today, nature continues to play with the sand, changing the park's landscape with each tide, storm, and season. Flag Ponds is also a part of Maryland's history. Once the site of a major pound net fishery, today the site preserves one of the original shanties and houses a fascinating exhibit on the Bay's old-time fishing industry.

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Hours

Open daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays, 9:00 am to 8:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Open Labor Day through Memorial Day, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Mondays and Fridays, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays, closed on Tuesdays through Thursdays.

The beach gate closes one half hour before the park closes.

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.

(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

An entrance fee is required per vehicle.

  • April - October: $4.00 for in-county residents, $6.00 for non residents
  • November - March: $3.00 for in-county residents and non residents.

There is a fee for most programs.

Activities

Located on 463 acres, all the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay area comes to life. Park visitors will discover a wide variety of native wildlife, including muskrat, otter, whitetail deer, turkey, fox, and the majestic pileated woodpecker. The flora ranges from venerable hardwood trees to the native Blue Flag iris, which gives Flag Ponds Nature Park its name.

A short, half-mile hike brings you to the sandy beach or you may take longer trail routes that allow you to experience the beauty of the park. Additionally there are observation platforms at two ponds, a fishing pier on the Chesapeake Bay and a visitor's center with wildlife displays. The whole family may enjoy the day on the broad beach either swimming or hunting for sharks teeth that are regularly washed up on the shore.

Facilities

Flag Ponds Nature Park offers three miles of gentle hiking trails, observation platforms overlooking two ponds, a wetlands boardwalk, a beach and fishing pier on the Chesapeake Bay, the fishermen's shanty exhibit, and a visitor's center with wildlife exhibits. Dogs are permitted at Flag Ponds Nature Park provided they are leashed at all times.

Accessibility

Beach parking for the handicapped is available.

Main image: Flag Ponds Nature Park
Captain John Smith Trail
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