My Public Lands Summer Roadtrip: Douglas Point Special Recreation Management Area in Maryland
Every year, millions of visitors flock to vast BLM landscapes out west like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. But just an hour or so from the BLM’s national headquarters in Washington DC is Douglas Point Special Recreation Management Area, a lesser-known but equally interesting landscape.
Found within Douglas Point’s hardwood forests are 20 of the state’s 25 interior nesting birds. The area contains evidence of Native American settlements dating back to the 16th century, a Civil War encampment, and the largest sunken wooden ship graveyard in the Western Hemisphere! The site is also home to a variety of terrestrial and aquatic species, including remains of prehistoric sharks, rays, crocodiles, and turtles.
The colonial era Chiles Homesite is the most well-known historic attraction at Douglas Point. A public walking path, complete with interpretive panels, winds around the remaining chimney ruins of the original house.
And if that’s not enough for you – the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail loops through the 540 acre Douglas Point property, which offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. You can hike, horseback ride, hunt, mountain bike, and more on miles of trails through hardwood forests and marshes. And at the north end of the property, you’ll find a small beach and Potomac river overlook designated as a “water stop” for the State of Maryland water trail component of the Potomac Heritage NST.