The trail system at Sassafras is open to non-motorized trail users from Sunrise to Sunset. There are approximately 9 miles of trails that travel through a variety of terrain that includes old dirt roads, field edges and paths within the young forest. Visitors will also find additional trails at Turner’s Creek County Park. The trail systems interconnect near Turner's Creek Road. Trail users can enjoy several scenic vistas that provide views of the Sassafras River and long sloping hillsides of grain fields. A variety of wildlife species might surprise quiet hikers and riders as deer, rabbits, turkey and many songbirds travel on or across the same paths. Riders are asked to please take care and stay on the trails as the sloping hillsides are prone to erosion. The Maryland Park Service does not rent horses, and only provides the trails as a means of recreation.
Picnicking is available at two locations. Visitors can take a break for lunch at Knock's Folly in the picnic grove or at the small pavilion by the pond near the parking area. Picnic tables and a pavilion are available at Turner's Creek County Park, a short distance from Knock's Folly. Restroom facilities are available at Turner's Creek County Park or at the vault toilet at the pond.
Henry Knock operated a granary and farm in the Turner's Creek Community. He began construction of the dwelling with the log cabin section in 1759. Donald Yeates purchased the property in 1770 and began planning construction of the larger Federal style portion. He passed away prior to completion of the house and his family completed the brick portion in 1796. The main portion of the house is a three story dwelling with one main room on each floor. Each main room has a fire place for warmth. The central staircase is open from the first floor to the attic. A large front porch provides a resting place and shade from the summer sun.
Knock's Folly is open as a Visitor Center on Saturdays (May through September) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Exhibits highlight the history of the farming community, the local Native American Tockwogh tribe and the visit of Captain John Smith to the Turner's Creek area. Future exhibits under development will focus on the rich natural history and wildlife of the Sassafras area.
Sassafras NRMA has excellent opportunities for hunting. White Tailed Deer hunting is available during most of the legal hunting seasons. Small game species abound and a limited season is permitted. Waterfowl hunting from blinds is available via lottery. Applications and Information is available in the Maryland Hunting Guide or by calling the park office at 410-820-1668. Trapping is not permitted on the Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area.
Hunters may enter / remain on park property outside of the regular posted hours provided that they are engaged in legitimate, authorized hunting activity.
Anglers can try their hand at freshwater pond fishing at the small pond located near the parking area. The pond maintains a healthy population of large mouth bass and blue gill. Fishing is also available along the shores of the Sassafras River or in the dynamic tidal pond. Species that may be caught include catfish, large mouth bass, perch, pan fish and striped bass. Appropriate Maryland licenses are required for fishing on Sassafras NRMA.
Primitive youth group camping is available during the camping season from May through October. The site has picnic tables, grills and fire rings. Groups must bring in their own potable water. To reserve the site, call the main park office at 410-820-1668.
The Sassafras Environmental Education Center aims to teach how human beings can live compatibly with nature’s design. The center demonstrates how outdoor education integrated into the regional school system can enhance learning across various disciplines, such as Science, Math, Social Sciences, Language Arts, Music, and Art.
The center provides students and adults with exposure to and instruction of the geology, ecology, physics, human history, economics, and politics that have shaped and continue to shape the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The center partners with local schools to serve as a ground for public school educators to implement Maryland’s environmental literacy standards. Activities in the field provide students with the knowledge and skill to live sustainably within Earth’s finite ecosystem. For additional information please call: 410-348-5214
Kent County MuseumThe Kent County Museum is located on Turner's Creek Road across the road from the Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area. The museum focuses on farming history and has an interesting display of vintage farming equipment and household goods. The museum is open the third Saturday of every month and can be contacted at 410-348-9149.
Turner's Creek County ParkTurner's Creek County Park has a variety of facilities including a picnic pavilion, trails, historic tree grove and restroom facilities. A boat ramp is available for launching small craft, kayaks and power vessels. A county ramp permit is required. Fishing is also available along the shoreline at the ramp. There are two historic buildings at Turners Creek. The Lathim House, a wooden dwelling was at one time a store for the local community and was built in the early 1700’s. The Granary, which is located along the landing at Turners Creek, was at one time used to house grain and crops for local farmers. Sail and Steam powered cargo ships would make scheduled stops and haul the grains to Baltimore or other markets along the Chesapeake Bay.
For more information on Sassafras Natural Resources Management Area, please contact the main park office at 410-820-1668.
580 Taylor Ave, Annapolis MD 21401