Self-Guided Opportunities
 
Cycling
Location Point Lookout State Park, 301-872-5688
St. Mary's County
Start/End Riders can start their ride from any open parking lot. The park's administrative headquarters or Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center are popular starting points. Maps can be obtained at any office. There is a map box on the open porch of the ranger station if all offices are closed.
Distance Varies with the route selected. A basic loop route around the park is five miles.
Time Varies with number of stops made and route selected
Trail Flat park roads and trails; asphalt, gravel and dirt construction depending on route option selected.
Skill Level Novice to moderate. Off road trails offer little challenge. No hills, bumps or gullies.
Suitable For Families? Yes, taking into account the ages/experience of the children. The network of route options allow for shortcuts back to starting point if the need arises. Short routes can be selected where visitors in rollerblades, wheelchairs and training wheels can accompany riders.
Hazards/Restrictions Traffic on the main public road and the absence of shoulders in some areas should be considered when planning route. Mosquitoes are likely to be found on back trails. Trails are shared by foot traffic.
Potable Water/Restrooms Both are available
Natural Features Chesapeake Bay, Lake Conoy, Potomac River. This is also a favorite place to watch the birds, especially during the spring/fall migrations. Migrating monarch butterflies can be found in August and September.
Historic/Cultural Features Before you get to the park office, you will pass the Confederate Monuments and cemetery. It is worth the stop. Other points along the ride: Museum which records the history of Point Lookout during the Civil War. The site of the Confederate POW Camp and Fort Lincoln are south of the causeway. The Point Lookout Lighthouse can be viewed at the southern tip of the park. Lighthouse is open to the public the first Saturday of each month April - November (except July and September when it is the second Saturday).
Bike Rentals/Service Patuxent Adventure Center, 410-394-2770
Camping Point Lookout State Park, 1-888-432-2267
Other Points of Interest The Visitors Center
Many road and trail side interpretive signs offer interesting stopping points.
Other Accommodations Hotels and motels are available in Lexington Park. A bed and breakfast is located near the park.
Fees or Permits May-September, Weekends and Holidays $5/person; weekdays May-September $3/vehicle; weekdays and weekends October-April $3/vehicle. Out-of-state residents add $1 to all day use service charges.
Description This is not a challenging ride. The park offers a variety of route options to fit the rider's abilities and interests. Smooth flat asphalt roads take you through the campground. The Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center is an interesting stop. Just outside the Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center there is a short dock leading across a narrow salt marsh and out into Lake Conoy. Continuing to meander through the campground, three route options return to Route 5 and you cross the Causeway. To the east is the Chesapeake Bay, at its widest point. To the west is Lake Conoy. After you cross the Causeway, you can explore the site of the Civil War POW Camp for Confederates and Fort Lincoln. This is the widest spot of the peninsula and has lots of loblolly pine and smaller, dense vegetation. White tail deer and fox are often seen when rounding bends in the trail. Continue to bike and you will pass the swimming beach and picnic area. Continue to the extreme end and notice the Point Lookout Lighthouse.


Resources Recommended Gear and Safety Tips
  • Tire repair kit or tube
  • Bike pump
  • Helmet
  • Be aware of your skill level and make safety your constant companion
  • Bring sun screen and insect repellent
  • Road traffic is heaviest on weekends
  • This is a popular evening destination of serious over the road cyclists