Elk Neck State Park: North East River Area and Picnic Shelters

North East beach at Elk NeckThe North East River Area provides swimming access to the Susquehanna Flats of the Chesapeake Bay. There is also a canoe and kayak hand-launch area, just north of the swim area.

The shallow water access is unguarded and the area also features picnic tables, grills, and a restroom with cold showers.

Please note that Maryland State Parks are trash free. You must take all of your trash with you when you leave.

Larger groups (up to 125 people) can rent one of two pavilions in this area. They are available by rental only.

Shelters 1 and 2
The North East River Area has two shelters that can be rented from April through October. Shelters must be reserved in advance.

Hilltop Shelter
Hilltop Shelter at Elk Neck
Located in the North East River Area on Mauldin Mountain, Hilltop Shelter accommodates 100 people and features an open air amphitheater. Food and alcohol are prohibited. The Shelter is available May 25 through September 1, Monday through Saturday by permit/reservation only, To reserve Hilltop Shelter call 1-888-432-CAMP(2267) or visit our reservation web page. Day-use fees do not apply to this area.

Visitor Day Use Fees *

Maryland Tagged Vehicles
Weekends and Holidays - $3 per person
Weekdays - $3 per vehicle

Out-of-state Tagged Vehicles
Weekends and Holidays - $5 per person
Weekdays - $5 per vehicle

*Some discounts apply

  • Discounts only apply to the pass holder. See individual passes for more details.
  • Children in booster seats and car seats are free.
  • Bus fees: April through October the standard weekday bus fee is $10 per bus. On weekends and holidays bus passengers are charged the standard per person charge. November through March the bus fee is $10 per bus.
  • Senior citizens 62 and older with a Maryland Golden Age Pass are free. Golden Age Passes can be purchased at the park for $10.
  • See more information about State Park Passes
  • Veterans day use fee is waived (does not apply to camping or boat launch)



The North East Beach Area opens at 9 a.m. and closes at sunset. All visitors must exit the parking lots by sunset.


Follow Route 272 South, 1/3 mile past Park Headquarters, turn right onto North East Beach Road. 

Things To See and Do

Visitors to the North East River Area can:

  • Launch canoes or kayaks by hand
  • Swim within the designated swimming area (marked by bouys from April to October)
  • Picnic
  • Hike the Farm Road Trail, Mauldin Mountain Loop or White Banks Trail


Pets on leashes are welcome in this area except; for the sandy portion of the swimming beach area from Memorial Day Weekend until after Labor Day.