Recreational State Park in St. Mary's County


During the height of the outdoor season in Maryland, Point Lookout State Park is full of the hustle and bustle of recreation. The peninsula, formed by the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay offers guests opportunities to fish, boat, swim, and camp, as well as a numberof other activities. At one time, the park was a prison camp housing over 52,000 Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. There is a museum on site that gives visitors a chance to learn about this history.m Visitors interested in the Civil War era history of the park may also be interested in learning about the parks mysterious ghost sightings. The park's lighthouse was ranked as one of the top ten haunted lighthouses on the east coast by Coastal Living Magazine.

The park office is open Monday through Friday from 8 - 4:00 pm during the summer and Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the winter. There are public restrooms throughout the park, and when they are closed for winterization the park supplies portable toilets. The park occasionally fills to capacity during the summer on holidays and weekends, so be sure to arrive early if you want to guarantee entrance to the park. Fees to enter the park are reasonable and may be chareged by car or person, depending upon which activities guests plan to enjoy.

Camping at the park is a popular activites and campers can choose between 143 wooded campsites. Twentysix of the sites offer full hook-up, and 31 have electric hook-up. Campgrounds are closed during the off-season, from the end of October until the beginning of April, except for the full hook-up sites. The camp store is available Friday through Monday and offers drinks, snacks, bait, fishing licenses, gas for boats, ice, and various camping supplies. There are six four person cabins available at the park for overnight stays. They are non-smoking, and pets are not permitted. Guests must do all of their cooking outdoors and a fire ring is provided. Check in is at 3:00 pm and guests must check out by noon.

The onsite Civil War Museum and Marshland Nature Center is a seasonal feature of the park. They offer tours of the history of the park and special programs for Civil War education.

Fishing is a popular activity in the park and there are three areas available for 24 hour fishing. Anglers need a valid Chesapeake Bay Sports Fishing licence and can fish from the pier or bayside. Night fishing passes are available from sunset until 6:00 am. There may be an additional $3 per vehicle charge for Maryland residents who plan to night fish.

Other activities at the park include swimming, deer hunting on 200 acres of land, and hiking. Pets are allowed only in certain areas of the park, so be sure you are following park regulations if you plan to bring a pet to the park. In a state filled with parks and recreational activities, visitors to Point Lookout State Park will enjoy the convenience of this former Civil War prison.

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