Visiting gunpowder falls' beach
Hammerman Beach in Gunpowder Falls State Park is a big full-service beach just outside Baltimore. It’s located where the Gunpowder River enters the Chesapeake Bay. All that freshwater means the beach is jellyfish-resistant year-round.
- 8am to sunset | April – October
- 10am to sunset | November – March
- Open year-round, except on Christmas Day
GUNPOWDER FALLS BEACH HIGHLIGHTS
- Public beach
- Jellyfish are rare
- Full facilities (restrooms, showers)
- Food concession
- Picnic facilities & playground
- Small boat & beach rentals
- Fee to enter park
About Gunpowder Falls’ Hammerman Beach
Gunpowder Falls is a big state park with many areas. The beach is called the “Hammerman Area.” It has 1,500 feet of sandy, swimming beach divided into several sections by wood ‘groins’ built to trap the sand and protect the beach. You can find a section that fits your needs.
A long grassy hill overlooks the sandy beach, providing great views of the Gunpowder River. It also provides stadium-like seating to lay a towel and watch beach activities.
Lifeguards are on duty from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, 8am – 8pm. Lifeguard hours are subject to change. Call 410-592-2897 to confirm.
You can swim other times of the year, but it’s at your own risk.
There is an entrance fee to use the beach. Be aware that if you drive out to get something, you have to pay to get back in. No refunds.
Hammerman is one of Maryland’s most popular state parks. It fills up on hot summer weekends, especially on the holidays, so get there early on those days. You can call the Hammerman Ranger Station at 410-335-3461 to find out if a park or beach lot closure is in effect.
Dogs are not allowed on the beach during the season (Memorial Day through Labor Day). However, you can let them play on the sand and swim on a leash during the off-season.
This is a great beach to go to if you want to try water sports. This area generally has consistent wind coming down the river, and you can rent windsurfing boards and small sailboats. Kayak, canoe, and paddleboards are also available for rent. You can even get a lesson.
What’s At Gunpowder Falls’ Hammerman Beach?
Picnic tables and grills are available free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please keep all fire in the grills provided and be sure to extinguish all fires before departing.
If you don’t want to picnic under the trees, Hammerman has four pavilions that can be rented between April 1 through October 30.
The full-service beach house also has a concessions stand with a small restaurant/grill. It’s open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Offseason, make sure you are fully provisioned before you get into the park. There are no stores once you drive onto large peninsula.
Riverside Grille offers a variety of food, drinks and other items. Open Thursday to Monday, Memorial Day weekend – Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Operating hours subject to change. Call 410-335-3461 to verify.
A number of watersports are available for rent just past the swimming area, including kayaks, paddleboards, windsurfers, and sailboats. It’s run by a private contractor — Eastern Watersports — which also offers lessons, yoga, fitness, and summer camp programs.
OPEN WATER SWIMMING
This is unique to Gunpowerfalls State Park. People do open-water swimming throughout the Chesapeake Bay, but protected swimming is rare.
To show how much it’s ‘a thing’, the state blocks off boating once a year in June so that hundreds of people can swim 4.4-miles across the Chesapeake Bay from Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis.
Open water swimming and long-distance swim training are permitted between the hours of 8am – 10am and 6pm – 8pm. Swimmers are required to sign a distance swimming agreement with a lifeguard before entering the water and must only swim between beaches 1 and 5.