At a Glance

Hours: Dawn to dusk. The Visitor Center might sometimes close earlier.

Cost: Free.

Tips: Bring a scope. ◾ Try to avoid visiting on busy weekends during tourist season. ◾ Do not drive onto Swan Cove Lane, which goes into a private residential area. ◾ Restrooms are available at the Visitor Center,

Best Seasons: Fall, winter.

Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Kent Island NE, Queenstown NW

Ferry Point Park

425 Piney Narrows Road, Chester, MD 21619
(410) 758-0835

Ferry Point Park is a small (just 41 acres) Queen Anne’s County park in a unique location. The park is on a spit of land that juts out into the mouth of the Chester River at Kent Narrows and the Chesapeake Bay. There is an elevated boardwalk over a wetland and marsh that leads onto a paved hiker-biker trail that goes toward the northern end of the park, which affords an unimpeded 180-degree views of open water. On a clear day, one can see north across the water all the way to Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge in Kent County.

The park encompasses tidal wetlands, non-tidal wetlands, and uplands. Ferry Point Park has picnic tables, sitting benches, and interpretive signage along the one-mile hiker/biker trail.  The park is a wonderful birding spot within the busy Kent Narrows area. Ferry Point Park is reached by foot from the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center; the trail is wheelchair-accessible. Restrooms are available at the Visitor Center, when the Center is open.

Birdlife:

Over 175 bird species have been reported on eBird from Ferry Point Park. This is a very under-birded place, so there are no doubt many more species that could be added to the park list with more visitation. The Kent Narrows passage can have a good diversity of diving ducks, including both scaup, Canvasback and Redhead. The larger  expanses of open water are a good place to scan for scoters, loons, Long-tailed Duck, and Common Goldeneye. Gulls and Bald Eagles are abundant year-round, and Osprey and terns are easily found during the warm months. The wetlands can hold shorebirds, herons, egrets, and other waders. Given the sparse vegetation, there is a surprisingly large assortment of passerines. Marsh Wrens and Common Yellowthroats are prevalent in spring and summer, and fall and winter are good for Swamp Sparrows.

This site became famous in 2018 as one of the few vantage points from which to view a distant Brown Booby that liked to sit on a buoy offshore of Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge to the north.

Parking:

Paved lot at Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center.

Special Features:

The trail from the Visitor Center to Ferry Point Park is wheelchair-accessible. ◾ The Cross Island Trail (a hiker-biker trail) runs 6.5 miles across Kent Island, from the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center west to Terrapin Nature Park. The trail is partly paved and partly boardwalk. It circles the grounds at the Visitor Center, and this is a good place to start if you plan to walk or bike the trail, which is also wheelchair- accessible. The tree-lined trail wanders through farmlands, meadows, and woods. Flanked by park benches, the trail crosses several creeks with wooden bridges, offering a spectacular view of waterfowl and wetlands. Portable toilets are available year round. ◾ Two maps of the Kent Island Water Trails are available to download from the Queen Anne’s County Parks website (scroll down on the page to view the links to the maps). ◾ Staff at the Visitor Center can assist with directions, information, and local destinations and points of interest. Restrooms are available inside. ◾ The Visitor Center is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network of the National Park Service. ◾ There is no local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society centered in Queen Anne’s County, so local birders may be members of chapters in adjoining counties: the Kent County Bird Club, the Caroline County Bird Club, or the Talbot Bird Club, all of which offer field trips and meetings with informative presentations, all free and open to the public.

Directions:

From eastbound US Route 50 on Kent Island near Kent Narrows: Take Exit 41 for Kent Narrows West. At the end of the exit ramp, you will arrive at a T-intersection at MD Route 18/Main Street. Turn left here to go east on MD Route 18, then take the first left to go under Route 50 on Piney Narrows Road. Upon emerging on the other side of Route 50, you will be heading west on Piney Narrows Road. In just a couple hundred feet, make a right to continue north on Piney Narrows Road. In just 0.2 miles, you will come to a barricade where the road straight ahead becomes Swan Cove Lane, entering a private residential development. Do not enter the residential area; instead, turn right to continue east on Piney Narrows Road, with a boating facility on the right. The Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center is on the left, just before the road ends at the water. Turn into the paved parking area in front of the Visitor Center. From here, walk north into Ferry Point Park proper via the foot-trail and boardwalk that can be accessed from the northwest corner of the parking lot, or from the grassy area between the parking lot and the water.

From westbound US Route 50 on Kent Island at Kent Narrows: Take Exit 41 for Kent Narrows West. The exit ramp will put you on the north side of US Route 50 heading east on Piney Narrows Road. In just about a hundred feet, make a left to continue north on Piney Narrows Road. In just 0.2 miles, you will come to a barricade where the road straight ahead becomes Swan Cove Lane, entering a private residential development. Do not enter the residential area; instead, turn right to continue east on Piney Narrows Road, with a boating facility on the right. The Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center is on the left, just before the road ends at the water. Turn into the paved parking area in front of the Visitor Center. From here, walk north into Ferry Point Park proper via the foot-trail and boardwalk that can be accessed from the northwest corner of the parking lot, or from the grassy area between the parking lot and the water.

Nearby Sites:

Queen Anne’s County: Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center – Horsehead ◾  Conquest PreserveMatapeake Clubhouse & Beach / Matapeake Fishing Pier & Boat Ramp ◾ Terrapin Nature Park ◾ Tuckahoe State Park (Queen Anne’s County) ◾ Wye Island Natural Resources Management Area

Kent County: Buckingham Public Landing & Morgnec Road Public LandingChesapeake Farms & St. Paul’s Millpond ◾ Chestertown: Wilmer Park, Wayne Gilchrest Trail, & Chestertown WWTP ◾ Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge ◾ Millington Wildlife Management Area ◾ Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area & Turner’s Creek Park

Caroline County: Adkins Arboretum ◾ Choptank Marina ◾ Daniel Crouse Memorial Park ◾ Idylwild Wildlife Management Area ◾ Martinak State Park ◾ Skeleton Creek Road & Bethlehem Road ◾ Tuckahoe State Park (Caroline County)

Talbot County: Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park (Talbot County Side) ◾ Black Walnut Point Natural Resources Management Area ◾ Claiborne LandingMill Creek MOS SanctuaryPickering Creek Audubon Center ◾ Poplar Island

Habitats:

Conifers Garden or ArboretumSuburban Neighborhood Old Fields, Shrubby MeadowsSandy Beach or Dunes Jetties & SeawallsMud Flats (Tidal or Non-Tidal)Open Ocean, Bay, or EstuarySalt or Brackish Marsh

Features:

BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)BoardwalkFishingFree - No Entry FeeHiking/Walking TrailsNative Plant Garden or Meadow/Pollinator PlantsParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaRestroomsVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families

Type:

Chesapeake Bay Eastern ShoreChesapeake Bay Gateways NetworkCommunity and Urban ParksHiker-Biker Trails (Paved)Water Trails