Saint Mary's River State Park! Moderate 8 Mile Trek!

  • April 28, 2013 · 9:30 AM
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Saint Mary's River State Park: A Moderate 8 Miles !

"Situated at the northern end of the St. Mary's River watershed, the park shows a wide range of habitats, from wooded acres and fields to swamps and small streams. With such a diversity, you can also find many different types of plant and animal species." From the parks home page

Natural Features: Beautiful scenery around the lake. Take notice of the variety of habitats, ranging from wooded acres and grassy fields, to swamps and streams.

Historic/Cultural Features: There are some 18th century homes, school and sawmill sites along the trail.

Boasting more than 8 miles of pristine trails, Saint Mary's Lake is a fantastic destination. Southern Maryland does not usually conjure up images of great hiking destinations. However, near Lexington Park, north of Saint Mary's City in Saint Mary's County, is a small treasure not too many hikers know about -- Saint Mary's River State Park. St. Mary's River State Park is a park that is not well known, but a real treasure. The park is located on the headwaters of the St. Mary's River, and is divided into two sites. This 7.5 mile trail encircles the 250 acre St. Mary's Lake, as can be seen in the photo on the left taken by Don Cosdon.

Prior to the landing of England's colonists and as far back as 3,000 years ago, several Indian tribes, including the Piscataway-Conoy, Algonquins, and Susquehanocks, called this area home. Evidence of their existence can still be found along the banks of the river in the form of arrowheads, pottery, and ax heads.

"As the first capital of Maryland and the fourth permanent English settlement in the New World, this area on the Eastern Shore was a busy pioneer community.  In 1637, Saint Mary's County was established, and it became known as the "Mother County of Maryland." Saint Mary's County was also the first county to establish peaceful relations with the local Indians and was home to Maryland's first state house.

Located on the northern edge of the Saint Mary's River watershed, the park is divided into two sites.  One, where we are hiking today, holds the 250-acre Saint Mary's Lake.  This area has become a popular freshwater fishing spot and is currently designated as a trophy bass lake."

The hikes lack of serious elevation change makes this trail ideal for those new to hiking.  A more advanced hiker should not be discouraged, however, due to the great biodiversity this park offers.

Trail Information
Activity Type: Hiking

Nearby City: Lexington Park/PAX RIVER NAVAL AIR STATION

Length: 8 total miles

Natural Features: Beautiful scenery around the lake. Take notice of the variety of habitats, ranging from wooded acres and grassy fields, to swamps and streams.

Historic/Cultural Features: There are some 18th century homes, school and sawmill sites along the trail. 

Elevation Gain: 150 feet

Trail Type: Loop

Skill Level: Easy to moderate with flat, winding trails. There are some gully and stream crossing shunt trails which hikers can select to add additional challenge.

Season: Open 6 A.M. to sunset daily from March 1st through the third weekend in November

Trailhead Elevation: 80 feet

Top Elevation: 100 feet

Local Contacts: St. Mary's River State Park

Local Maps:USGS Hollywood, Solomon Island

Topo Map: Saint Mary's River State Park Topographic Map

Hike Pace

This hike will be led at a moderate pace of about 2.5 - 3.0 mph. This is just above the average hiking pace used as a baseline in most hiking books.

Carpool Information

Baltimore Area Carpool
To carpool or caravan from the Baltimore metro area, meet at Savage Station. Click here for directions to Savage Station .  Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

Northern Virginia Area Carpool 

To carpool or caravan from the Northern Virginia area, meet at Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Station in the north side parking lot. Get directions to the Vienna/Fairfax metro Use the comment section to discuss carpooling with other members.

If you can drive or want to carpool from an additional location, please post your location in the comment section below. For those who need a ride, reach out to the drivers. Make friends, and support the environment - by just offering a ride!

Directions to the Trailhead

Click Here for directions to where we meet for this hike

Hike is at 9:30 a.m.

Park Fee

$3/vehicle year-round. Out-of-state residents add $2.

A Leashed FIDO is Welcome On This Hike!

Please remember we are a social hiking group that values fellowship and camaraderie and practice good hike etiquette. We take breaks as necessary and have at least one guide in the front in addition to a "sweeper" in the back. If you get upset because someone has to rest at the top of a hill etc. then find another group!

Barbara:[masked]

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  • Hiromi

    My business trip is postponed and I am able to join. Is there anyone who could give me a ride? I do not drive. I live in Foggy Bottom, DC. I would be pleased to share the gas fee.

    April 25, 2013

    • Barb

      wish someone from DC could have driven you Hiromi. It was a great time and I think, worth the drive.

      April 28, 2013

  • Barb

    Great trail if you like hiking around water, under trees and with a cool breeze! Hiking with Edna and Eric made it even more enjoyable. Great Sunday morning!

    April 28, 2013

  • Eric

    I'm 5 minutes away

    April 28, 2013

  • Eric

    Thank you Mike for hosting a hike in St Mary's county. I am looking forward to this hike!

    1 · April 24, 2013

    • Kellie C.

      Eric, you are welcome. I would post more hikes in St. Mary's county if we had enough interest. In the past I have posted them and not one person RSVP:( It looks like that might be changes and we will see how the attendance is today. A huge shout out to Barbara for offering to lead this hike. Enjoy!

      April 28, 2013

4 went

  • Barb
    Certified Hike Leader
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member

Your organizer's refund policy for Saint Mary's River State Park! Moderate 8 Mile Trek!

Refunds offered if:

  • the Meetup is cancelled
  • the Meetup is rescheduled
  • you can cancel at least 2 day(s) before the Meetup

Additional notes: Refund ONLY if requested prior to 48 hours of hike time.

Payments you make go to the organizer, not to Meetup. You must make refund requests to the organizer.

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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