One of the biggest perks of living in Southern Maryland is that you can be on the Chesapeake Bay in no time, no matter where you’re located. And while there are many ways to get to the Bay, but one that we love to do with the kids is Flag Ponds Nature Park in Lusby.
Located just off state Route 4 in Calvert County about 10 miles south of Prince Frederick, Flag Ponds is managed by the county’s Department of Natural Resources. The park includes a visitor’s center, hiking trails, and a fishing pier, but let’s face it: This time of year, the kids are going to be most interested in the beach.
It’s an easy half-mile walk from the parking lot to the beach, down a road and boardwalk. Along the way, you’ll pass the fisherman’s shanty where you can learn about the lifestyle of Bay watermen. When you get to the beach, the blue water will stretch out in front of you, and the sand will seem to go as far as the eye can see. During some parts of the day, there are sandbars. Swimming is allowed, but be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty.
The kids we’ve visited Flag Ponds with are most excited about combing the beach for fossils and sharks’ teeth – with the occasional crab claw thrown in for good measure. Patient sifters will find sharks’ teeth, but anyone can look through the sand to find interesting rocks, shells, and pieces of coral.
The park hosts activities and summer camps, so check the website for a calendar of events.
Flag Ponds is open year round, though hours are limited in the off season. During the summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the park is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Due to the popularity of the park on summer weekends, you may experience closures when the park is at capacity. The admission fee during this time is $5 per vehicle for Calvert County residents and $8 per vehicle for non-county residents. Annual passes are available.
From Labor Day through Memorial Day, the park is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The park is closed Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The admission fee during the off season is $5 per vehicle.
For more information about Flag Ponds Nature Park, visit http://www.calvertparks.org/fpp.html.