What to do in St. Mary's River State Park

A flood-control dam for a 5,600-acre watershed has created a 250-acre lake in this wooded park, which has great bass fishing. St. Mary's River State Park, a 2,176-acre parcel located in St. Mary's County between Leonardtown and Lexington Park, is one of the newer parks of the state. 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.

The man-made dam of St. Mary's has created a fabulous recreation site tucked off MD State Route 5 in Southern Maryland. The 250-acre lake affords great bass fishing, paddleboat opportunities, hunting grounds and multi-use trails. A small boat launch is offered to electric motor boat users only. Fishing from shore is possible or fishing from your canoe or kayak is possible as well. Hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers will find a nine-mile trail circling the lake.

Approximately 1,700 acres of the park are open to small game and deer hunting. Small game species found at St. Mary's River State Park include squirrels, rabbits, doves, and quail. White-tailed deer are also plentiful and may be hunted with bow and arrow, muzzleloader, or shotgun. Turkey hunting is permitted only during the spring gobbler season.

Outdoor recreations available at this day use park include a boat launch, fishing, paddleboating, hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. Picnicking is also offered. Electric motors only on St. Mary's Lake.

Located in Southern Maryland, the park rests a mere three miles north of the tiny burg of Great Mills. Take MD State Route 5 west, or Indian Bridge Road northwest out of Great Mills.

Maryland has four distinct seasons with spring and fall being particularly pleasant with low humidity and mild temperatures. The average January temperature ranges between 30 and 34 degrees F (-1 to 1 C) with July averages ranging between 74 degrees F and 80 degrees F. Typically, coastal temperatures are slightly warmer then the western Appalachian Plateau area. Travelers should be aware that winters can become miserably cold and summers can be hazy, hot and humid with afternoon thundershowers.

c/o Point Lookout State Park
P.O. Box 48
Scotland, MD 20687

Phone: 301-872-5688

  • St. Mary's River State Park Travel Q&A