Best Shady Side Parks

Best State Parks In Shady Side, Maryland

Best State Parks in Anne Arundel County, MD

Some amazing parks are right in the Chesapeake Bay area. These are the best Shady Side parks that we have found that are little gems. Hope you enjoy!

Discovery Village
4804 Atwell Road
Shady Side, MD 20764

Discovery Village is an ambitious project in Shady Side. They have a public boat ramp, they help the Chesapeake Bay Foundation seed oysters and they contribute to community events. They are restoring a classic workboat and will be taking friends and visitors on cruises to lighthouses. Discovery also has a working marina for watermen and uses that to educate children where their food comes from.

In the mission statement, Discovery Village wants to create a first-class facility for research and bay restoration. To that end, they have partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and hope to make a difference with reviving the oyster population. Oysters are the filters of the bay. When the population of the oysters grows, the water gets cleaner. Unfortunately for the oysters, they also taste good, so it can be a challenge to go against the growing appetite for the bivalve. CBF maintains its tanks for oyster spat (seeding oysters) at Discovery Village. They also have a research vessel docked there when it is not working.

Jack Creek Park
1600 Snug Harbor Road
Shady Side, MD 20764

Jack Creek Park just got refurbished with a new kayak launch, parking, and access road. This is a pristine park, meaning fairly primitive in nature, so if you are looking for nature walks and fishing or even paddling, this is the spot for you. Having said that, make sure to wear bug spray and SPF, the mosquitos are heavy on the coastline.

The Public Works Project just finished in early 2020 stabilizing the shore from erosion and putting in the new kayak launch with other improvements. It will make going to the park that much more enjoyable for visitors.

For birders, this park may be just the ticket. 166 species have been spotted there according to eBird ( By far the most plentiful spotted are varieties of ducks. Colorful Indigo Bunting to the impressive Osprey and the (very) occasional Great Cormorant can also be seen at this park.

Mayo Beach Park
4150 Honeysuckle Drive
Edgewater, MD 21037

This is right across the West River from Shady Side, Mayo Beach Park. Check with the website before you go, because there are scheduled public days that are woven between the rented days. Even though there are limited days, it is worth it. There are no fees to get in and it is a public beach! There are a few rules, however. No dogs, glass bottles, inflatable rafts or smoking/grilling. Other than that, they do have bathrooms with running water, you can swim in the Chesapeake Bay, and you can bring your own food (as long as you take your trash with you when you leave.) You can also bring a kayak or canoe. Windsurfing or paddleboarding are great as well! If you live locally, this is an ideal free beach destination spot!