The 1,400 acre Calvert Cliffs State Park is a popular destination that offers the unique pastime of fossil hunting. It includes 13 miles of hiking trails that lead to some substantial cliffs along the mile long public shoreline. There are plenty of picnic areas, nature trails and a unique playground built out of recycled tires that offer additional diversions from fishing. One quick glance at the 1 acre pond and any angler will instantly appreciate the need for other activities.
The Calvert Cliffs pond is tucked next to the trailhead that leads along Grays Creek to the Bay and the tidal marshland that lines the coast. During the season, the DNR stocks the pond with just 500 fish and all of these instantly dart to the southern side of the lake with most moving to the southeast corner where the water is deepest. The northern pipe stem of the lake is shallow and muddy as is the western shoreline near the parking lot. An active angler will find the pond interesting to fish for, at most, an hour or so. Of course, given the proximity of the pond to the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, any angler who is also a fan of The Simpsons TV show will take great joy in looking for one of the three-eyed fish featured in the cartoon. Thankfully, there are none to be found!
Given the tiny expanse of fishable water, any angling visitor to this park should plan on making the two-mile hike to the shoreline and become an amateur archaeologist. The area around the cliffs is a veritable treasure trove of fossils with over 600 different species being discovered over the years. Sharks teeth, along with shells, are the most popular fossils. The State allows you to both hunt for and keep anything you find, but asks that you do not go overboard.
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Getting There: From I-95/I-495, take exit 11A onto MD 4 S/Pennsylvania Avenue. Pennsylvania Avenue eventually turns into Southern Maryland Boulevard and remains marked as MD 4. The name changes again when the road joins MD 2 where it becomes Solomons Island Road. Follow MD 4/MD 2 south past Port Republic and St. Leonard. Be on the lookout for signs for the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant. A few miles down the road from plant signs for Calvert cliffs State Park appear. Turn left on MD 765/Hg Trueman Road to enter the Park. Follow the road around to the right and the lake will appear down the hill from the public restrooms.
Access Point: 38.394964,-76.434966
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Maryland DNR stocking plan.
Looking toward the ocean from the parking lot
View up the “pipestem”
Nice picnic spots near the water
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore