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Hike at Calvert Cliffs

11 Mar

I took the day off of running to hike Calvert Cliffs State Park with my kids and sister.  While we’ve spent lots of time in North Beach, Chesapeake Beach, and Deale, I’d never visited this amazing Maryland State Park.  The motivation for today’s trip was fossil hunting.  Calvert Cliffs is a major source of Miocene-period fossils, and the constant cliff erosion means “fresh” fossils are always washing up on shore. 

The park is a little over an hour drive from Washington, D.C.  We took the scenic route through North Beach, but taking the Solomons Island Highway is the most direct route…just use google maps to see options from your address.

At the trail head

Calvert Cliffs has amazing curb appeal, with a massive repurposed tire playground and a fully stocked fish pond visible from the street.  Parking is no problem either, with a suggested donation of $5 per car. 

Kids on the trail through the wetlands portion of the park

We took the “Red Trail” to the Chesapeake Bay beach.  It’s a 1.8 mile hike (each way) on hard-packed sand/soil…very easy on the feet (we even saw a couple brave parents with strollers) and incredibly scenic.   We saw lizards, turtles, and countless birds….we even found evidence of an elusive beaver. 

We pet this lethargic lizard!

Beavers at work

The beach (even at high tide) was fantastic; we brought a large picnic blanket and easily found a nice private spot.   Even though the water was frigid, we took off our shoes and waded in looking for fossils. 

It took some time, but we finally found the fossils we were hunting for.  My son was the most dedicated…he kept running into the surf for handfuls of sand until he finally got a 8 million year old shark tooth.  So proud!

Amazing trip, and I’m already looking forward to going back to run the trails.

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2 Responses to “Hike at Calvert Cliffs”

  1. Bill Schweigart March 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm #

    Awesome shark tooth! Yay L’il Mike!

  2. katefsummers March 12, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Bill-you guys should totally hike this trail! It’s amazing for kids!

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