Located near Crisfield on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Janes Island State Park offers visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty and bounty of the Chesapeake Bay. Within the mainland portion of the park are the campground, rental cabins and conference center, picnic areas and pavilions, and the boat ramp and marina.
The island portion of the park – Janes Island – includes over 2,900 acres of saltmarsh, over 30 miles of water trails, and miles of isolated pristine beaches. Although people have harvested the resources of the island for thousands of years, today the island is wild and seemingly untouched. A haven for birds, fish, crabs, and other saltmarsh dwellers, Janes Island provides visitors a tranquil setting to explore the wildlife of the Bay while enjoying the expansive vistas and stunningly beautiful sunsets. Whether fishing or crabbing, motor boating or paddling, or simply relaxing, visitors to Janes Island will experience a world still ruled by the weather, the tides, and the wildlife that first drew people to this very special place.
Park Headquarters Building Closed
Note: As a result of damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Park Headquarters building has been closed until further notice. All park services are currently housed in the Park Store/Nature Center building.
Pets are allowed in Janes Island State Park in the following areas:
- Pets are allowed in the day use area, on trails and on the island.
- Pets are allowed in the marina area to board vessels.
- Pets are allowed at 31 campsites in campground loop B and in the adjacent pet walking area.
- Pets are allowed in camp loop A and parking lot.
- Pets are prohibited in all other areas of the park and in buildings, including all cabins, bath houses and the Conference Center.
Janes Island State Park offers more than 30 miles of marked water trails that wind throughout the island’s saltmarsh. Most of the waterways are protected from wind and current, providing ideal conditions for both experienced and novice paddlers. Janes Island water trail system was named to the American Canoe Association’s inaugural list of recommended water trails. Three back country camp sites are located along the trails for overnight expeditions.
Water Trail and Bandana Maps
- To purchase copies of the Janes Island State Park Water Trail Guide with a credit card, please "click" on this link to place your order online.
- To purchase copies of the Janes Island State Park Water Trail Guide with a check,please "click" on this link to print an order form.
- To purchase copies of the Janes Island State Park Bandana Map with a credit card,please "click" on this link to place your order online.
- To purchase copies of the Janes Island State Park Bandana Map with a check,please "click" on this link to print an order form.
Janes Island provides multiple services for boaters, including a launching ramp, boat slips for campers, free canoe and kayak launch, canoe and kayak rentals, motor boat rentals, and easy access to Crisfield Harbor, Tangier Sound, and the Annemessex River. A boat dock located near the far side of Janes Island offers boaters access to the five miles of unspoiled beach on the Bay side of the island. The Janes Island marina is a certified Maryland Clean Marina.
Solo and tandem kayaks and canoes are available for rent through the park store from late April through October, weather permitting. The cost per boat is $10 an hour or $50 for the day. Paddles and PFDs are included. Boats are rented on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be reserved in advance. For more information, please contact the park at 410-968-1565.
Fishing and Crabbing
Whether from the docks at the marina or on the many marshy creeks on Janes Island or on the open waters of Tangier Sound, anglers can fish for striped bass, sea trout, spot, croaker, flounder, and bluefish. A Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License is required for anglers 16 and older. The Chesapeake Bay blue crab also abounds in the waters surrounding the park, offering opportunities for tasty and rewarding family fun. An accessible fish cleaning station is conveniently located at the marina.
The unguarded beaches of Janes Island offer visitors the opportunity to swim in the waters of the Chesapeake, but only at their own risk. The island beaches are accessible by boat only.
Picnicking and Pavilions
Several picnic areas with tables and charcoal grills are available at no charge. Two picnic pavilions, each with a capacity of 120 persons, are available for rent. A playground, volley ball court, and ball field are available for all to enjoy.
The island is an ideal environment for shore birds, migratory waterfowl, and a variety of other birds. An observation tower is located next to the Nature Center. Bring your binoculars and pick up a birdwatcher checklist at the Park Store.
The mainland portion of the park offers over 100 campsites, 49 of which are equipped with electrical hook-ups to accommodate tent or vehicle campers. Each site is equipped with a camping pad, picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. Five heated and air conditioned waterfront camper cabins that sleep four are also available for rent. Three centrally located bath houses have hot water showers and flush toilets; one has coin operated laundry facilities. The primitive back country campsites are equipped with tent platforms and boat landings; campers at these environmentally sensitive sites must obtain a permit from the park and strictly follow Leave No Trace Outdoors ethics. Call the park for more information about back country permits.
Youth Group Camping
The park offers youth group camping on selected sites in “C camp loop." Groups up to 30 people can be accommodated by contacting the Park Office directly for reservations.
Full Service Cabins
Four rustic waterfront cabins are available for rent year round. Each sleeps six persons and is equipped with three bedrooms, common area, kitchen, bathroom, screened porch, air conditioning, heat, gas log fireplaces, outdoor grill and fire ring, and ample parking. Cabin kitchens are equipped with oven, stove, refrigerator, coffee pot, microwave, basic cooking utensils, and service for six. Renters must provide their own towels and bedding (linens, pillows and blankets).
The Daugherty Creek Conference Center is available year round for half day, full day, and overnight use. The facility sleeps 16 persons and is equipped with four bedrooms, three and one half baths, kitchen, common area, large second floor meeting room, two fireplaces, heat, air conditioning, and a deck overlooking the expansive marshes of Janes Island. Additional amenities include a screened porch and a large outdoor grill. The Conference Center kitchen is equipped with oven, stove, refrigerator, dish washer, coffee pot, microwave, basic cooking utensils, and service for 16. Renters must provide their own towels and bed linens. Reservations for the conference center can be made by calling the park office at 410-968-1565 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Janes Island State Park offers accessible restrooms, one accessible full service cabin, and four accessible campsites. The Park Store and Nature Center, picnic pavilions and playground, fish cleaning station, and dock area are also accessible.
The park is located in Somerset County near Crisfield and may be reached by MD RT 13 to Westover; RT 413, approximately 11 miles to Plantation Road (right turn), 1 1/2 miles to park entrance (Alfred Lawson Drive, right turn).
Janes Island State Park
26280 Alfred J. Lawson Drive
Crisfield MD 21817
GPS N 38° 00.490’ W 075° 50.620’
Contact Janes Island
Hours of Operation
5:30 a.m. to Sunset, March-November
6:30 a.m. to Sunset, December-February
Certain activities are permitted outside of the regular park hours (e.g. fishing, boat launch, hunting where permitted). Please check with the park before your visit if you plan to engage in an activity which requires you to be in the park before or after the posted hours.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us