The Maryland Department of Natural Resources and National Park Service announced the completion of a project to expand and enhance paddle-in camping opportunities in Southern Maryland.

The improved access allows longer overnight paddling excursions along the Potomac River with beautiful landing spots at Point Lookout State Park and Newtowne Neck State Park, both located in St. Mary’s County.

“The new and improved paddle-in campsites will allow residents and visitors looking for low-impact recreation to explore the beaches, tributaries and wetlands of the Potomac River in Southern Maryland,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Corresponding water access and trail maps will make people aware of the various ways to explore the numerous waterways, hopefully developing and enhancing a visitor’s connection to the watershed.”

The work involved improvements to 15 existing campsites at Hoffman Point and the Green Loop at Point Lookout, adding amenities and upgrading infrastructure to improve the visitor experience. These campsites are close to the shoreline and are also near existing piers with floating dock facilities that are ideal for canoe and kayak access.

Newtowne Neck offers a more primitive camping experience, with beautiful views of the bays and river, miles of sandy beach, and new trails through the property’s forests and meadows. The construction of two new primitive paddle-in campsites, located to provide a quiet and secluded “backcountry” experience, are ideal for multiday and overnight paddling trips on Breton Bay, Potomac River and St. Clement’s Bay.

The National Park Service provided funds for the project, and the Maryland Park Service Veterans Conservation Corps have been working on the project since the spring.

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