Hiking Maryland & Delaware
by David Edwin Lillard (Falcon Guides)
© David Edwin Lillard/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Nice area, beach fun to explore. Found a number of beautiful sharks teeth. Recommend.
I took along my twelve year old on this one. he enjoyed looking for fossils and shark teeth on the beach. was a little confused as to the dog policy on all web sites for the state it states no pets on or off leash, and when we got there there where leashed dogs everywhere.
Culvert Cliffs State Park seems to be a popular place for short hikes and the use of the small beach. There is an minumum entrance fee which made me wonder after we were through with the hike, why the park was in such poor repair. The trails are marked but no map was provided at the entrance when requested. Only one large map behind a glass partition as you start on the red trail. (Be sure to print the map off this website before attempting to navigate through the park.) Several problems we found during our hikes on the many trails were:
(1) the trails were marked with the color but the distances were not accurate, (2) no natural animal sightening on the red trail which could be due to the volume of traffic and noise (3) large amount of storm damage throughout the park which has caused falling trees and erroision (4) most of the beach is closed due to errosion from the above cliffs where trees and large amounts of clay have fallen. If you are only out for a hike through the forest, I would recommend this park - as there is little traffic on all the trails except the red trail. We saw more animals and / or tracks on the service road then we saw on all the other trails within the park. One last bit of advice - make sure you have a driving directions to this park, as the average GPS unit will not have it loaded.
Within this stretch of Southern Maryland, which is somewhat barren for state parks (my experience is limited) I think this is one of the better trail run opportunities. It is very convenient to Pax River area, which is where I was staying.
Not very hilly compared to PA and NY where I normally run, so I would rate this as a fairly easy few mile hike or run. The main trails were pleasant and well kept. In my opinion, the cliffs are somewhat unimpressive and anti-climatic, but the scenery in the woods and marshy areas is quite pleasant and what makes the run worth it.
I took the red trail out to the cliffs and then a mix of the orange and white trails back to the parking area. About 5 or 6 miles. The less traveled orange and white were somewhat confusingly marked, and the trail map on a kiosk at the parking area is not consistent with the trail map in the book. The trail map in the book is reasonably close to the actual trails, so you should trust that, but keep your direction senses somewhat tuned if you are on any of the trails north of the red.
I enjoyed it and will probably go again on my next trip down to Pax.
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