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Elk Neck State Park facts for kids

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Elk Neck State Park
IUCN Category III (Natural Monument)
Turkey Point Lighthouse.jpg
Location Cecil County, Maryland, United States
Nearest town North East, Maryland
Area 2,369 acres (9.59 km2)
Elevation 118 ft (36 m)
Designation Maryland state park
Established 1936
Administrator Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Website Elk Neck State Park
Elk Neck Peninsula 2020
Elk Neck (center), bounded by the Elk River in the foreground and the North East River beyond

Elk Neck State Park is a public recreation area located between Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River near the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula in Cecil County, Maryland. The state park is home to the historic Turkey Point Light and offers land-based and water-based recreation. The park is located on MD 272, eight miles (13 km) south of the town of North East, and 13 miles (21 km) south of exit 100 on I-95. It is operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

History

The park had its genesis when, in 1936, naturalist Dr. William Abbott bequeathed his holdings along the Elk River to the state for use as a state park. Although he originally intended the land to be a gift to the Boy Scouts, a meeting with State Forester Fred W. Besley in 1935 persuaded Abbott to change the terms of his will. Following the state's purchase of additional acreage, the Civilian Conservation Corps created park improvements from 1937 to 1941.

Activities and amenities

Turkey Point Lighthouse

Dating from 1833, the Turkey Point Lighthouse sits on a 100-foot (30 m) bluff overlooking the Upper Chesapeake Bay. The 35-foot (11 m) tower is a "private aid to navigation" maintained by a non-profit organization, Turkey Point Light Station, Inc., which offers weekend tours seasonally.

Campgrounds

The park offers more than 250 campsites, rustic cabins, camper cabins, and youth group sites.

Trails

The park has 12 miles (19 km) of trails for hiking and biking.

Trail Name Length Difficulty
White Banks Trail 3 miles (4.8 km) Difficult
Mauldin Mountain Loop 1.5 miles (2.4 km) Difficult
Pond Loop 1 mile (1.6 km) Moderate
Farm Road Trail 1 mile (1.6 km) Moderate
Beaver Marsh Loop 4 miles (6.4 km) Difficult
Lighthouse Trail 2 miles (3.2 km) Easy
Ravines Loop .75 miles (1.2 km) Moderate
Water recreation

The park offers a swimming beach, fishing, and crabbing, plus a boat launch and launch area for canoeing and kayaking.

Ecology

The park is part of the Northeastern coastal forests ecoregion, with a landscape characterized by deep forests, bluffs, beaches, and marshlands.

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