At a Glance

Hours: 8 am to Sunset daily, except closed on Christmas Day.

Cost: Weekends/holidays, Memorial Day to Labor Day: $4/car, MD residents; $6/car, non-MD residents. Summer weekdays: $3/car MD residents; $5/car non-MD residents. Off-season weekends: $3/car MD residents; $5/car non-MD residents.

Tips: When the park fills to capacity, additional cars will be turned away. Waterfowl hunting takes place in season; be aware. Spend some time exploring Black Marsh. No bikes allowed on the Black Marsh trail. Also scan the Bay from the fishing pier or beach.

Best Seasons: Spring, Fall, Winter. Can be crowded in Summer.

Local MOS Chapter: Baltimore Bird Club

North Point State Park

8400 North Point Road, Edgemere, MD 21219 (410) 477-0757

North Point State Park is a 1,310 acre park southeast of the City of Baltimore, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Patspsco River. The Defenders Trail, which passes through the park, was used by soldiers in the War of 1812, when the area was under siege by the British. From 1906 through 1947, an amusement park was located here, and remnants of the amusement park era still exist in the park. The park has a beach where swimming is allowed, but lifeguards are not provided.  There are also two fishing piers that provides access to scan the Bay for gulls, terns, and ducks.

Habitats include a large freshwater marsh, deciduous woodlands, bayshore with an outstanding view of the Chesapeake Bay, meadows, and farm fields. Over half of the park (667 acres) has received legislative protection as the Black Marsh State Wildlands. There are trails and an observatrion platform in the Wildlands; bicycles are prohibited here. The Wildlands, along with the park’s other areas, provide great opportunities to observe birds and wildlife, including muskrats, beavers, foxes, and otters. Dragonflies are abundant in the warm months.

Birdlife: Over 230 species have been reported from North Point State Park. The Black Marsh Wildlands host many kinds of herons during summer and in fall migration—Little Blue Heron is abundant and Tricolored Heron possible. Cattle Egret may be found in farm fields on the way to the park. Glossy Ibis also occurs in the park. Warblers and other passerines come through during spring and fall migration. Wood Ducks nest in the wetlands.

In winter, look for diving ducks on the Bay, including Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Greater and Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Common Goldeneye, and Bufflehead. Both Red-throated and Common Loons can also be seen in winter. Pied-billed Grebe occurs from September through May, and Horned Grebe and Red-necked Grebe may be present during a brief window in spring.

Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red-Shouldered Hawk, and Red-tailed Hawk are commonly seen; Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks and Northern Harrier are less common but present. Virginia Rail and Sora may be found in Black Marsh. Look for gulls and terns from the fishing pier or the beach. Woodpeckers are present year-round.

Look for swallows, flycatchers, vireos, and warblers in migration; some species nes there and are present during the summer. See the Bird hotspot link at left for more details.

Parking:

Paved lots as shown on trail map.

Special Features:

The Takos Visitor Center is open Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Did you know: North Point takes its name not from geography, but from Captain Robert North, who in the late 1700s operated a commercial sailing vessel out of the area now occupied by Fort Howard, at the tip of the peninsula. Captain North named the area after himself. ◾ North Point State Park is a part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network of the National Park Service; see https://www.nps.gov/chba/planyourvisit/chesapeake-gateways.htm.◾ The local chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society is the Baltimore Bird Club. The Baltimore Bird Club is the founding chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society, and remains an important hub of birding activity in the state. The club offers monthly meetings with informative presentations and a full schedule of field trips and bird walks, all free and open to the public.

Directions:

From the north or east side of the Baltimore Beltway/I-695: Take the Inner Loop of the Baltimore Beltway/I-695 toward Essex/Key Bridge. Follow I-695 to Exit 42 (MD Route 151/North Point Boulevard). Exit and bear right onto MD Route 151 south to first traffic light. Make left onto North Point Road. Follow through the town of Edgemere for 2 miles to North Point State Park on left. From the south or west side of the Baltimore Beltway: Take the Outer Loop of the Baltimore Beltway/I-695 toward Glen Burnie/Key Bridge. Follow I-695 over Key Bridge (toll) to Exit 43 (MD Route 158/Bethlehem Boulevard/). Exit and make a left at first traffic light onto MD Route 158/Bethlehem Boulevard. Follow Bethlehem Boulevard east for one mile to North Point Boulevard. Cross over North Point Boulevard onto North Point Road. Follow North Point Road through the town of Edgemere for 2 miles to North Point State Park on left.

Nearby Sites: Fort Howard Park; Hart-Miller Island; Fort McHenry National Monument; Patterson Park; Druid Hill Park; Gunpowder Falls State Park; Marshy Point Nature Center; Fort Smallwood Park; Kinder Farm Park.

Habitats:

Bottomland DeciduousConifersHedgerowsUpland Deciduous Garden or ParkLawn, Ballfields, Golf Course Agricultural Crop Fields or Fallow FieldsOld Fields, Shrubby MeadowsSandy Beach or Dunes Forested SwampFreshwater Marsh or FloodplainFreshwater Pond, Lake, or ReservoirJetties & SeawallsMud Flats (Tidal or Non-Tidal)Open Ocean, Bay, or EstuaryRivers & Streams

Features:

BeginnersBicycle Trails (Bikes may be prohibited on some trails)BoardwalkFishingHiking/Walking TrailsHistorical FeaturesHuntingLake, Pond, Bay, River, OceanObservation Platform or TowerParkingPets AllowedPicnic AreaPlaygroundRestroomsSwimmingVisitor Center, Interpretive Displays, ExhibitsWheelchair Accessible FeaturesYoung People / Families

Type:

Chesapeake Bay Gateways NetworkChesapeake Bay Western ShoreState Natural Areas & WildlandsState Parks