Franklin Point State Park
Franklin Point State Park located on the Chesapeake Bay
Franklin Point State Park
GPS address for Dent Road Entrance
Hours: Sunrise to Sunset
Franklin Point State Park is a pristine, beautiful park that is teeming with wildlife and is waiting to be explored!
A Peninsula Airport
Franklin Point State Park is a park that almost didn’t happen. It started out as an airport (the remains of a runway can be seen from the air or a drone). It was then closed in the late 1980s. A few years after that, a developer wanted to buy the land for 300 homes. There was resistance – by a citizens group, South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development. The group not only stopped the developer but fought off the lawsuit that followed.
But What Kind of Park?
South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development saved the land to make it into a park. However, that was only the first stage of saving these wetlands and unspoiled 477 acres. There was more to come. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources bought the land. The state would turn it over to Anne Arundel depending on what they would do with it. In 2004, the county came up with lighted ballfields, lots of infrastructure and parking lots – which turned out to be just as unpopular as the 300 homes were. In came the state’s Critical Area Commission who said those plans were not suitable for this location. So the county scrapped their plans and the land sat.
West & Rhode Riverkeepers and an Army of Volunteers
So the property was put on a shelf for 10 years. The State didn’t have the resources to do anything with this land, so they put a gate on the access road, and locked it up. Now it is late 2014 and Mike Lofton, (the head of Anne Arundel Country Public Water Access Commission) talked to West & Rhode Riverkeeper (an organization devoted to preserving the waterways) Jeff Holland about using the park as it was intended. So West & Rhode Riverkeeper entered into an agreement with the State of Maryland to oversee the park and get it ready to open to the public. W&RR were able to use their army of volunteers to add a kayak launch, add trails and monitors to take care of the park.
Finally it has become Franklin Point State Park!
Now that it is open, there are 477 of beautiful acres of diversity, from woods and forest to wetlands and marsh. It is adjoined by 3 bodies of water, the Chesapeake Bay, Deep Creek, and Flag Pond. New trails are being developed plus what there is are suitable for beginners. Additionally, if you would like to bring your four-footed friend along, you can bring him if he has a leash. The wildlife includes birds, deer, and fox. The kayak launch has a solid bottom, but check the tides before you go out, it can be shallow. Benches and picnic tables are provided for your use. There is a handicap-accessible portable toilet available in the parking lot.
On the trail, they have 4×4 guideposts that have QR code on its top. Feel free to use your phone on the code, you can learn about spring peepers, osprey, Franklin Point geography and many other fascinating points of interest.
This is not the easiest park to find, but when you do, it is a hidden treasure!