St. Mary's County in Southern Maryland
Newtowne Neck State Park
c/o Point Lookout State Park11175 Point Lookout RoadScotland MD 20687
Take Route 5 towards Leonardtown. Turn right at the light at the intersection of Route 5 and MD-243 and follow the road for three miles.
Sunrise to Sunset
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Pets are allowed in Newtowne Neck State Park.
The Department of Natural Resources Maryland Park Service is pleased to present three concept plans for the conservation and interpretation of natural and cultural resources and the improvement of recreational access to Newtowne Neck State Park. These concept plans are presented with the goal of soliciting broad public input that will be used to finalize a master plan for the State Park later this summer.
Each concept plan includes a map and a summary of the plan's elements. A survey has been developed to collect public input and obtain comments regarding visitor preferences for the management objectives presented in each concept plan.
The three concept plans were developed with extensive input by a Master Plan Advisory Committee, which included representatives from a diverse array of community, government, recreational and heritage stakeholder groups. The Department also held an open house and design charette last fall, as well as other community meetings, to inform the concept plan development.
All three concept plans for Newtowne Neck State Park support the goal of conserving the scenic beauty and historic significance of the landscape by providing visitors with a lightly developed park setting, which minimizes the sights and sounds of man. Natural and cultural resources are interpreted and conserved and recreational access is limited to passive pursuits that are consistent with conserving and protecting the natural landscape. The concept plans differ primarily in their arrangement of amenities and the degree of developed improvements. Public input on these differences is important to selecting the best concept plan and developing the final master plan.
The Department values the public's time and interest in providing important feedback regarding the future conservation and enjoyment of one of Maryland's newest additions to its State Park system. We hope that you will get a chance to visit Newtowne Neck State Park and envision the implementation of the master plan and the opportunities it will provide to visitors to create their own adventures and lifelong memories.
During the master plan development process, it was determined that due to the historic occupation of the property by colonists, and potentially by Native Americans, and some archeological survey work that had been informally conducted over the last several decades, additional archaeological survey work would be necessary. As the concept plans began to take shape, an opportunity for a partnership between the Department and St. Mary’s College to conduct archaeological survey work on the property evolved. Using a variety of grant funds, and under the guidance of Dr. Julie King, St. Mary’s College will be conducting its Archaeology Field School at Newtowne Neck State Park this summer. This work will provide important information for both the planning process and for future interpretive programming at the site. The St. Mary’s College Field School will start on May 18, 2015 and continue through June 12, 2015.
The concept plans will be available for review and comment through June 30, 2015. An Open House event at Newtowne Neck State Park is planned for June 20, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Visitors will have an opportunity to tour the park, review the concept plans, talk to Park Service rangers and planners, and see the archaeological survey work underway. Following the Open House and the public comment period, the public’s comments and the survey results will be used to prepare a draft master plan document that will be circulated for internal review. The master plan document will be revised as needed and the draft plan presented to the public for comment. These comments will be addressed, and the master plan document will be prepared for final approval by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources in the fall.
Newtowne Neck State Park was purchased by the State of Maryland in 2009 and promises to become a unique and important addition to Maryland’s State Park system. The park’s outstanding scenery, water access, gentle topography and significant history offer something for everyone.
In 2011, the Department secured a federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant in anticipation of the need for capital funding to help support future park improvement projects that are identified during the public planning process. The grant was broadly written to maximize flexibility regarding the use of the funds.
To date, the Maryland Park Service has made only modest improvements to Newtowne Neck State Park in order to allow for the community participation process and master planning effort to guide further resource analysis, recreation development, and resource restoration activities. Currently the Park includes the following features:
The Department anticipates that following the review of the survey and comments on the concept plans, the final master plan will include recommendations for the development of additional passive, outdoor recreation improvements and infrastructure that complement the existing recreation opportunities in the region. Because of the numerous natural and cultural resources on the site, careful analysis, additional studies and surveys, and the guidance and expertise of other State and federal agencies will be a crucial part of the planning, design, and implementation process during the coming years.
Newtowne Neck State Park is a 776 acre peninsula surrounded by Breton Bay, St. Clements Bay, and the Potomac River. It has seven (7) miles of ecologically and recreationally important waterfront.
Newtowne Neck was home to the Piscataway Native American Tribe and their ancestors for many centuries before its settlement by the colonists. The property, Newtowne Neck, is the site of the first settlement in Maryland after the original settlement in Saint Mary’s City. The original colonists landed on St. Clement’s Island in 1634. In 1640, William Bretton was granted 750 acres from Cecelius Calvert for the Newtowne Neck tract. In 1668, the Society of Jesus acquired the property from William Bretton in exchange for 40,000 pounds of tobacco. William and his wife, Temperance, donated one and one-half acres of their property in 1661 to the Society of Jesus to establish a chapel and cemetery. The property was maintained by the Society of Jesus until they withdrew from the land in 1967 to work in other areas.
The Department of Natural Resources purchased Newtowne Neck in late April of 2009. The land was purchased to protect the waterfront from development. The purchase of Newtowne Neck, provides the ability to preserve diverse natural water and land areas, safeguard wildlife habitats, conserve sustainable forest lands, and protect the quality of the Chesapeake Bay. Newtowne Neck will provide public access to the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail and provide a lasting legacy to future generations of Marylanders.
Newtowne Neck is also designated as the first historic district in St. Mary’s County and is listed on the National Register of Historic places.
Park HoursNewtowne Neck State Park is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Maryland State Parks are “Trash Free”. Please practice “Leave No Trace” principles and take your trash with you when you leave. To view these principles visit www.lnt.org. Any questions or concerns, contact Point Lookout State Park at 301-872-5688.
Canoeing and KayakingNon-motorized crafts can be walked in and launched from the launch area during regular park hours. Canoes and kayakers can enjoy access to the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail. Also, for more locations to launch your vessel, visit: Scenic Waterways of St. Mary’s County. Know Before you Go!
FishingVisitors can fish from designated areas along the shoreline year round from sunrise to sunset. A Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License is required for persons 16 and older.
HikingEnjoy the experience of exploring the natural environment, wildlife and different plant species while hiking and walking on the property. Please remember to be considerate of agricultural crops and naturally sensitive areas to avoid adverse impact to this unique area.
HuntingHunting is permitted for deer, upland game, and waterfowl from December 15, 2014 through February 4, 2015 in accordance with the conditions in the Newtowne Neck State Park – Interim Hunting Plan for the 2014 – 2015 Season. Contact Point Lookout State Park at 301-872-5688 for further details.
BirdingEnjoy the opportunities to visit some unique birding habitats including tidal shorelines, forest, hedgerows, meadows and agricultural fields. The Maryland Ornithological Birding checklist may help you document those birds you see at Newtowne Neck State Park.
PicnickingA limited number of picnic tables are available on a first come first served basis at the day use area.
Maryland Conservation CorpsNewtowne Neck State Park is supported by a Maryland Conservation Corps Program. The Maryland Conservation Corps (MCC) is an AmeriCorps program that engages young adults, ages 17-25, who want to dedicate a year of service to natural resource conservation. Over a ten to 11-month period, MCC members work as crews to complete 1,700 hours of service. Conservation service activities include: trail maintenance, environmental education, stream & wetland restoration, park facility improvements, invasive species removal and Bay grass planting. Extensive member training is provided, including: First Responder certification, Wildland Fire Fighting certification, Search and Rescue certification, Park Operations, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Chainsaw Safety, Leave No Trace and Canoe Trip Leading.
No minimum qualifications are required other than transportation to the designated job site and a desire to serve. Low-cost State Housing is available at certain crew sites. Benefits include a living allowance of $7.00/hour, health care benefits, child care assistance (if eligible) and a $4,725 education scholarship award for those members that complete $1,700 hours of service. MCC employs a Zero Tolerance Policy for any member who uses alcohol or illegal drugs while attending an MCC project, training or event.
For more information or to apply, contact the park manager or download an application from the Maryland Department of Natural Resource’s Maryland Conservation Corps website.
VolunteerVolunteer opportunities are plentiful at Newtowne Neck. Volunteers can help with special events, site maintenance, and general site operations. For volunteer information call 301-872-5688 and ask for the Volunteer Coordinator.
Accessibility for Persons with DisabilitiesFor additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401