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 and water access for kayaks and canoes.8311 John Downs Loop, Pasadena, MD 21122
Downs Park is located on the Northern-most 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.
It 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 piers, lovely picnic areas with grills, pavilions (available only by reservation), a number of walking trails and a large playground.
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.
It has five miles of trails. A paved hiking/biking trail around the park’s perimeter is 3.5 miles.