3 Easy to Reach Beautiful Beaches

Kent Island has several Chesapeake Bay beaches where the water gently laps on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. They face west and change from family swimming, or sunbathing, during the day to date night in the evening for the glorious sunsets, some with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the foreground.

BEACH HIGHLIGHTS

  • Public Beaches
  • No fees
  • Matapeake has restrooms, Terrapin has portable toilets
  • No lifeguards
  • Easy to reach off of Route 50
  • Two require a short hike

191 Log Canoe Circle, Cross Island Trail, Stevensville, MD

HOURS: Dawn to Dusk

Terrapin Nature Park beach

This beautiful 276-acre park is on Kent Island’s west side facing Annapolis across the Chesapeake Bay. It has a long, narrow beach starting just north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and expanding the full length of the park shore.

It shows Kent Island in its natural state with one of the best beach views on the Bay.

Queen Anne’s County does not consider this a swimming beach, so there are no lifeguards or rescue equipment on the beach. And, it’s carry-in, carry-out. Although there are trash and recycle bins just off the beach.

A 3/4 mile asphalt trail runs from the parking lot to the end of the park through the forest. It’s the start of the Cross Island bike trail.

The beach trail splits off the bike trail, near the picnic grounds. It’s about a ten-minute walk down the gravel path through dunes to the narrow sand beach.

A white path made of crushed oyster shells parallels the beach. Stay on the wide path to get to the beach. There are several entrances over the dunes. The beach is most crowded close to the parking lot path. It gets less crowded the farther you walk toward the Bay Bridge.

A narrower path leads to a stroll through tidal wetland, crop fields, and wildlife habitats for a 2.8-mile loop.

You’ll find Terrapin Nature Park behind the Chesapeake Bay Business Park. Go through the business park (on Log Cabin Circle) to get there.

The park has a portable toilet, but no permanent facilities. The parking lot is small. Because cyclists share it with beach-goers, the lot fills quickly. Parking is available along the circular road in the business park. There’s also free parking at Old Love Point Park, a bit of a walk along the Cross Island Trail.

The park is open from dawn to dusk. There’s a flow to the traffic. Daytime beachgoers arrive early, filling the lot by 10am on hot days. The beach towels start rolling up late afternoon. About an hour before sunset, the parking lot fills again with a different group arriving to watch the sunset. It’s a date-night event on Kent Island.

Pets are allowed on the beach but they must be on a leash at this park. 

305 Marine Academy, Stevensville, MD

HOURS: Sunrise to Sunset

Matapeake State Park beach

Matapeake State Park beach is the thin strip of sand that goes around this entire cove. It’s long and scenic. This section is reserved for people. Dogs are allowed farther down the beach. 

Matapeake State Park Beach

This land used to be a privately-owned ferry launch to the mainland. A regal house from those days overlooks the beach with a manicured lawn cascading down to the sandy beach. It’s used now for park functions.

Pets are not allowed at the clubhouse, its lawn, or the public beach. You’ll see a sign pointing in the direction of the trail just outside the park gate. Follow the gate to the path through the woods that takes you past the human beach to the dog beach.

There are public restrooms, drinking water, and often a food stand sets up near the entrance to the beach.

The parking lot is small and there’s no parking outside the park’s gate. Get there early on prime summer days.

Be aware that the road to the park goes through an office park development. Keep going. The road ends at the park’s parking lot.

425 Piney Narrows Rd, Chester, MD

HOURS: Sunrise to Sunset

Ferry Point Park on Kent Island

Ferry Point Park is beautiful. It’s part of 41 acres of tidal wetlands and uplands. The park is surrounded by Chester River, Kent Narrows and Piney Creek. 

The catch is that you have to park at the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center and walk a little under a mile to get there. The path is on a boardwalk over the marshes and down a rarely used road. 

You can ride a bike, but a hybrid or wide-tire bike would be best for this route. 

The beach has picnic tables and sitting beaches. But there are no other facilities. Restrooms are available in the Visitors Center. And, you must take your trash with you when you leave the beach.

There are no lifeguards at this beach. The entrance sign says no swimming is allowed. However, a sign next to the beach says swimming is allowed “at your own risk.” We called the county office for clarification and were told that the swimming beach is at Matapeake State Park. undecided

Feel free to lay a towel down on the sand to hang out and play.

Pets are allowed on the beach but need to be on a leash.

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