Calvert Cliffs State Park
10540 H G Trueman Rd Lusby, MD 20657
Sunrise to sunset daily
hike, day-trips, water-activities, swim, outdoor-adventures, road-trip
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Calvert Cliffs is a great destination state park for the whole family.
While camping recently at Cedarville State Forest in Brandywine we decided to take a daytrip to Calvert Cliffs State Park in nearby Lusby. It was magnificent. We were originally skeptical that our little ones would make the 1.8 mile hike along the red trail from the parking area to the cliffs without depleting our day’s rations or throwing themselves onto the ground from feigned exhaustion, but thanks to regularly spaced 1/10 mile markers we were able to keep them interested and motivated in the trek to the cliffs by presenting each marker as a challenge.
As if the cliffs weren’t enough, we were treated along the way to expansive cypress swamps where we were able to observe all manner of flora and fauna from turtles sunning on logs to just about every type of shore bird you can look up on your phone (which we had to do of course).
Once we made it to the cliffs, we were utterly astonished. The cliffs are unlike any scene found elsewhere in MD as they dominate the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay for roughly 24 miles. They were formed over 10 to 20 million years ago when all of Southern Maryland was covered by a warm, shallow sea. When the sea receded the cliffs were exposed and began eroding. Today these cliffs reveal the remains of prehistoric species Including sharks, whales, rays, and seabirds.
The kids could have spent the entire day combing the sandy beach that separates the cliffs from the water. The beach is absolutely littered with small fossilized shells and even some sharks’ teeth if you keep your eyes peeled. The park has also conveniently provided a "toys to share" bin so that you don't have to carry shovels and buckets on your hike.
At the entrance to the park there is ample parking, a reused tire playground, a fishing area, a freshwater and tidal marshland and access to 13 miles of hiking trails. The trail to the cliffs was partially natural and partially boardwalk over the swampy areas, so a baby carrier would be advisable for little ones that aren’t walking yet. There are public restrooms near the parking area and portable toilets near the cliffs on the trail.