Flag Ponds Nature Park is located at 1525 Flag Ponds Parkway in Lusby, Maryland. Lusby is in southern Maryland, about 60 miles from Washington, D.C. or 80 miles south of Baltimore.
The park has limited hours on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Friday, so please check their website for current hours. It’s a gated park that is only accessible during the posted times. The beach and entrance gate close one hour prior to park closing.
Flag Ponds Nature Park includes a short hike to a long, wide sandy beach on the Chesapeake Bay. There are several other nature trails to explore at the park.
Flag Ponds Nature Park Entrance Fees
At the time of this post, the fees were $5 for in-county residents and $15 for out-of-county residents. The fee for out-of-county residents is reduced during the winter months. Find the current fees on the Flag Ponds Nature Park website. They are typically able to take credit cards, but the credit card machine wasn’t working on the day we visited.
Flag Ponds Nature Park Hike
A short hike, of approximately half a mile, takes you to the beach. The path to the beach changes as you walk, from a paved road, to a dirt / rocky wide path, and then to a boardwalk.
After approximately .3 miles, there’s a restroom building located before the boardwalk to the beach. Note that the restrooms close about an hour before the park’s closing time.
While it’s possible to take a wagon or a stroller on much of the path, there’s a very narrow boardwalk that leads to the beach. This looks to be a temporary situation while repairs are made to the shorter, usual trail to the beach. Just note that a stroller or beach wagon may have trouble accessing the beach on this narrow path, and the walk is a bit longer while they work on the beach trail.
The hike to the beach has a slope at times, so the walk back to the parking lot is slightly uphill. Keep this in mind if you’re tired after a fun day playing on the sandy beach.
Flag Ponds Nature Park Beach
There’s a observation platform to view the Chesapeake Bay, if taking the longer beach trail. Venture onto the platform to look for crabs in the Bay.
On the beach, especially if you’re visiting during low tide, there are plenty of piles of shells to search through to look for fossils and shark’s teeth.
Flag Ponds Visitor Center
After your trip to the beach, the visitor center is located at parking lot 1-A. The visitor center also includes restrooms and one soda vending machine. Note that there aren’t any other food concessions located in the park.
The visitor center has a trading post where you can trade your shell and fossils findings from the beach to trade with others.
The visitor center also has two turtles and a few nature exhibits to learn more about the area and the animals at the park.
Tips for Visiting Flag Ponds Nature Park
- Bring water shoes, towels, and sun protection for the kiddos exploring the shoreline.
- A net or sifter works well to help in your quest for shark teeth
- A bag is needed to collect your treasures from the beach
- Note that the parking lots can fill to capacity. If visiting on a beautiful summer weekend or holiday, be sure to arrive early.
- Take cash for the entrance fee, just in case, as their credit card machine was down the day we visited.
Flag Ponds or Calvert Cliffs?
While we haven’t visited Calvert Cliffs yet, Flag Ponds seems to have a shorter hike to the beach. While the hike at Flag Ponds is slightly uphill on the way back, I’ve heard that the Calvert Cliffs hike is much more strenuous. Calvert Cliffs State Park website indicates the shortest route to their beach is 1.8 miles.
Day trip to Flag Ponds Nature Park
If you’re planning a day trip or weekend trip to the nature park, check out the other destination in the area. Solomon’s Island is just south of Flag Ponds. There’s also Point Lookout State Park at the southern tip of Maryland.
Solomon’s Island is a great place to have dinner in one of their many waterfront restaurants or have an ice cream cone as you stroll along the coastline.
Looking for more amazing nature trails or state parks?