At a Glance
Hours: Sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center has more limited hours that change from time to time.
Tips: Bring a scope. ◾ Try to avoid visiting on busy weekends during tourist season. ◾ Do not drive onto the part of Swan Cove Lane that goes into a private residential area; bear right at the fork onto Piney Narrows Road to reach the Visitor Center and parking area. ◾ Restrooms are available at the Visitor Center.
Prohibited: Swimming, fishing, grills and open fires, coolers, shade structures/umbrellas.
Best Seasons: Fall, winter.
Breeding Bird Atlas Blocks: Kent Island NE, Queenstown NW
Ferry Point Park
Parking & Visitor Center: 425 Piney Narrows Road,Chester, MD 21619
Actual Park Location: 600 Swan Cove Lane, Chester, MD 21619
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.
Over 180 bird species have been reported at the eBird hotspot for Ferry Point Park. 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 park has become famous as one of the possible viewing points for rare sightings of a few Brown Boobies, which began frequenting the waters of the Upper Chesapeake Bay in 2018 and persist to date. Be aware that most sightings are extremely distant and a scope is necessary. The boobies like to perch on buoys in the offshore waters and can also be seen flying over the Bay.
The trail from the Visitor Center to Ferry Point Park is wheelchair-accessible. The nearby Cross-Island Trail, a combination of boardwalk and asphalt paving, is also wheelchair-accessible; see Special Features below for more on the Cross-Island Trail.
Pets are permitted on leash; you must pick up after your pet.
The Visitor Center is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network of the National Park Service.
The Cross Island Trail (a hiker-biker trail) runs 6.5 miles across Kent Island and an extension goes across Kent Narrows for another 1.2 miles to Long Point Park in Grasonville. 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. Free parking is available in the public lot under the east side of the Kent Narrows Bridge, just a short distance from the Visitor Center. The tree-lined trail wanders through marshes, 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. ◾
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.
Paved lot at Chesapeake Heritage and Visitor Center.
Ferry Point Park is located on the Chesapeake Bay on a north-facing point of land near the eastern edge of Kent Island in Queen Anne’s County. Although the park gives its address as 600 Swan Cove Lane, you can’t use that address in a navigation system as you can’t drive there directly. Instead, use the address of the Visitor Center at 425 Piney Narrows Road,Chester, MD 21619.
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.
Queen Anne’s County: Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center – Horsehead ◾ Conquest Preserve ◾ Matapeake 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 Landing ◾ Chesapeake 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 ◾ Pelot MOS Sanctuary ◾ 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 Landing ◾ Marengo Woods MOS Sanctuary ◾ Mill Creek MOS Sanctuary ◾Pickering Creek Audubon Center ◾ Poplar Island
Conifers Suburban 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)BoardwalkFree - No Entry Fee at Any TimeHiking/Walking TrailsParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaRestroomsVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWater ViewWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families
Type:Chesapeake Bay Eastern ShoreChesapeake Bay Gateways NetworkCommunity and Urban ParksCounty ParksHiker-Biker Trails (Paved)Water Trails