Where is Point Lookout State Park
Point Lookout State Park is located on the tip of a peninsula in the center of Maryland that juts out between Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. This park is not particularly remote, being heavily developed and surrounded by small towns and private land, the closest town is only a 6-minute drive. Those traveling from the city of Baltimore will have just over a 2-hour drive to get to Point Lookout, while the park is only an hour and 48 minute drive from Washington D.C.
How Big is Point Lookout State Park
Point Lookout US State Park is comprised of a 1,079-acre lot of land that encompasses a variety of both developed and undeveloped features including beaches, cabins, and picnic areas. There are three distinct trails that wind throughout the property and along the different features. The park had enough area that during the Civil War over 50,000 prisoners were held. The park is situated in a small section between the 405 miles of the Potomac River and the 4,479 miles of the Chesapeake Bay.
Point Lookout State Park Weather
Throughout the entire state of Maryland, which Point Lookout State Park is located inside of, the winters tend to be very wet, cold, and windy and the summers are hot and humid. Oftentimes there will be partial cloud cover throughout the entire year. The temperature varies from 89 degrees Fahrenheit down to 30 degrees on average. The hottest season lasts about 3.5 months during the year, from about May 29 to September 14. The coldest season will last about 3.3 months, typically from November 30 to March 7. The rainiest time of year is from April 11 to August 23, about 4.4 months. The other 7.6 months are much drier, with the date with the lowest chance of precipitation being around October 19.
When did Point Lookout Become a State Park
A famous explorer named Captain John Smith came to the area that is now Point Lookout State Park all the way in 1608. Throughout the years it was used for different purposes until 1862 it was transformed into a city that included a camp that held Confederate soldiers. It wasn’t until 1963 when Point Lookout State park was formed in order to specifically preserve the history of the camp.
Things to do in Point Lookout State Park
Point Lookout State Park is a historic State Park that is chock full of interesting things to see and do. Our State Park Visitors Guide outlines the following list which are some of the most popular options for visitors.
There three separate water trails throughout Point Lookout State Park, including one that sits within Point Lookout Creek, Lake Conoy, and one that circles around the point and into the Chesapeake Bay. Planning is necessary for a safe trip as they are not marked or patrolled often.
When those that wish to travel to Point Lookout State Park in order to take advantage of the boating opportunities, there is a required 10-dollar service charge. The launch passes are valid 24 hours a day and all year long. The park store also offers canoe rentals and supplies.
Point Lookout State Park has several areas within its limits that offer fishing opportunities to visitors. The 710-foot fishing pier is one of the most popular places in the park, the pier is operational from Mid-April to the third week of December. A valid fishing licence and appropriate stamps are required for everyone fishing the park.
There are a few hunting opportunities for those that would like to pursue game species within the confines of Point Lookout State Park. Archery only hunting for deer is permitted on a designated area, there are also specific blind locations that give opportunities for waterfowl hunters.
For visitors that are looking to spend more than just a day exploring Point Lookout State Park there are over a hundred campsites, some with hookup abilities for campers, that allow for a unique experience. A total of 6 people, which includes children and adults, are allowed at each campsite.
There are several areas within Point Lookout State Park that allow visitors to enjoy a nice meal with their family among the natural splendor that the park has to offer. The beach picnic area is open daily from 7am to sunset but only from May to September.
When to go to Point Lookout State Park
The park is open year-round and offers a variety of different activities throughout the different seasons. Some activities, such as visiting the museum, various structures like Fort Lincoln, and a park store can be enjoyed comfortably no matter the time of year. Depending on the type of activities that visitors to Point Lookout State Park would like to participate in, the best time of year to visit the park changes. For those that enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, and picnicking, the summer months and even into early Fall can provide the best experience. For those that like to hunt and camp there are opportunities that stretch from the Fall season and well into the cold winter months.
Must-Have Things to Bring to Point Lookout State Park
Because of the large variety of activities available at Point Lookout State Park, the following list goes over the necessary gear List of Parks suggests visitors to have a full and safe experience.
Weather Appropriate Clothing
The weather in Point Lookout State Park and the surrounding area can be intense and unpredictable. It’s important for any visitors to the park that they bring enough clothing to match any unpleasant weather that may occur, even if all looks well when you first arrive things can change fast.
There is a lot of walking to be done while visiting Point Lookout State Park, and while a good portion of it can be done on the expanse of soft sand beaches, visitors to the park will want to bring appropriate shoes for the activity they wish to participate in.
Point Lookout State Park offers beautiful views of the natural splendor that surrounds the park, it’s not hard to see why many visitors want to travel here to enjoy a meal with friends and family. Be sure to bring enough food and gear to have a safe, fun, and comfortable time picnicking.
While there aren’t as many hunting opportunities compared to some state parks, Point Lookout State Park does offer some quality hunting for deer and waterfowl in the designated areas. Hunters should be sure to bring the appropriate clothing, gear, and safety equipment when hunting the park.
Point Lookout State Park has multiple fishing opportunities, between the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay, there are plenty of species of fish to pursue and each may have a specific type of gear necessary to target them, fisherman should make sure to research the gear and licensing they’ll need to safely, legally, and effectively catch them.
While Point Lookout State Park is quite literally surrounded by several water sources, it can be quite dangerous to drink unpurified water. It’s vitally important for visitors to bring either a supply of fresh clean water, or a way to purify water for their consumption.
There are no restaurants within Point Lookout State Park, so for those that want to partake in any meals within the park, you will have to bring food from outside of the park, be sure to bring enough for all in your party and even some extra in case of an emergency.
While it’s certainly possible for visitors to the park that wish to camp to try and sleep under the stars with minimal shelter, it’s much safer and more comfortable to bring appropriate gear to keep the elements at bay. Be sure that when camping at Point Lookout State Park to bring gear that will withstand the current weather.
Where to stay in Point Lookout State Park
Within the specifically developed area in Point Lookout State Park, there are 143 wooded campsites, with 26 of them having a full hookup availability, and 33 having electricity. There are extended seasons for self-contained campers along a specific stretch of the camping areas. On top of the campsites there are also 5 four person cabins that you can rent out for overnight stays at the park, these have specific rules such as no pets, smoking, or cooking are allowed within them.
Food Nearby Point Lookout State Park
You are allowed to bring food into the park for the duration of your stay, as long as visitors are diligent about cleaning up after themselves. For those that would like to enjoy eating outside of the park, or aren’t staying overnight, there are several places to eat nearby Point Lookout State Park. The closest restaurant to the park is a short 11-minute drive.
Airports Near Point Lookout State Park
There are several small private airports surrounding Point Lookout State Park, the nearest one of these private airports being a tiny 10-minute drive away from the park. But for those visitors that don’t have access to the closest airports, but still want to fly as close as possible to visit the park, the closest airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport which is a full hour and forty-two-minute drive from the park.