Downs Park has a beautiful view of the Chesapeake Bay a few miles outside Annapolis. You’ll find a long public beach, but not for swimming. It’s for viewing and walking. There’s a separate dog beach where pets can swim.  And next to that is sandy access for kayaks and canoes.

Address: 8311 John Downs Loop, Pasadena, MD

What’s At Downs Beach?


  • Public Beaches
  • No human swimming allowed
  • Dogs are allowed to swim at the designated dog beach
  • Picnic facilities & playground
  • Fee to enter park

Downs Park is located on the Northernmost tip of Bodkin Neck and juts into the mouth of the Patapsco River, where it flows into the Bay.

Swimming is not allowed at Downs Park unless you’re a dog. Once you come to terms with that, you can enjoy the stunning Chesapeake Bay view of the 236-acre park.

The park was once a farm and then became a summer estate before it was turned into a public park, so there’s a wide-open grassy area leading to the edge of the water. 

Downs Park also has a couple of piers, lovely picnic areas with grills, pavilions (available only by reservation), a number of walking trails, and a large playground. 

It has five miles of trails. A paved hiking/biking trail around the park’s perimeter is 3.5 miles.

The dog beach is near the “launch” (a sandy area for kayaks and canoes), about a five-minute walk from the parking lot.

You’ll stroll by a pavilion with a volleyball net and past stadium-seating style, wood benches overlooking the water. Go down the steps and there you are. At the dog beach! It’s next to a tidal pond.

The park is operated by Anne Arundel County and there’s an entrance fee for the park.


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