Recreational opportunities abound on this picturesque peninsula formed by the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Swimming, fishing, boating and camping are just a few of the activities to be enjoyed in this beautiful bay setting.
This park's peaceful surroundings belie its history as the location of a prison camp which imprisoned as many as 52,264 Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. A museum on site recounts this vivid history. A park map is available at park headquarters, the camp office, camp store, and the Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center.
Pets are allowed at Point Lookout State Park in the following areas:
- Pets are allowed in Malone Circle, Tulip Loop, Green's Point Loop and Hoffman's Loop in the campground
- Pets are allowed on paved portion of causeway, on beach north of the causeway to entrance of Tanner's Creek on Bay side, and beach south of causeway on the Bay side
- Pets are allowed in boat launch area to board vessels
- Pets are allowed in all day-use areas after Labor Day to Memorial Day weekend
Video of Point Lookout State Park Amenities
Boat launch, canoe rental, camp fire programs, camp sites, cabins, camp store, dump station, fishing, flat water canoeing, hiking trails, hunting, historic interest, hook ups, pet trail, picnic area, playground, swimming, Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center and pavilion.
All restrooms will be closed for winterization by November 1 and reopened on April 1. Portable toilets will be available in the park.
Admission Prices and Park Hours
Day use service charges are valid for park use from 6 a.m. to sunset. (Maryland Passport, Universal Disability Pass and Golden Age Passes are valid during this time period. Active Military with identification are exempt. Children in car seats are free.)
Weekends and Holidays
- October through April -- $3.00 per vehicle for Maryland resident -- $5.00 per vehicle for non-Maryland resident
- May through September -- $5.00 per person for Maryland resident -- $7.00 per person for non-Maryland resident
Weekdays (not including holidays that fall on a weekday)
- Year round -- $3.00 per vehicle for Maryland residents -- $5.00 per vehicle for non-Maryland residents
Night Fishing - Year round -- $3.00 per vehicle for Maryland residents -- $5.00 per vehicle for non-Maryland residents Night fishing service charge is in effect from sunset to 6 a.m. (use the white night pass envelope for payment). Any persons not actively fishing must leave at sunset.
Summer Visitation - Point Lookout occasionally fills to capacity on summer weekends and holiday weekends. During these times you will not be able to enter the park, nor will you be able to just drive through the park. You may call 301-872-5688 to check on our visitation volume, however we can make no guarantees that we will not be filled to capacity by the time you arrive. On holiday weekends (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day weekends) we do not allow people to drive through without paying the service charge due to the volume of traffic within the park.
Park Headquarters Office - The park office is open year round. Summer hours (April 1 - October 31) are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Winter hours (November 1 - March 31) are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Campground loops Lanier and Malone will be closed due to bathhouse renovations until Thursday, May 23, 2013. If you would like to camp at a site in one of the loops before then, call the Park to check the opening status. Thank you for your cooperation and patience.
Campground - There are 143 wooded campsites available; 26 of these have full hook-ups, 33 of these have electric. A full hook-up loop (Tulip) remains open year round for self-contained campers (no restrooms available). A total of 6 people (children + adults) are permitted on each campsite (excluding Youth Group Site, and Sites 107 or 128).
Cabins - There are six four-person camper cabins available for overnight stays. No pets, smoking, or cooking are permitted inside the cabins. A fire ring is provided for cooking. Check-in time is 3 p.m., checkout is at noon.
Youth Group Camping - One campsite for youth groups is also available. Contact the park for additional details.
Campers may check in no later than 10:00 p.m. If the camp office is not staffed, campers may be required to use the self-registration system to check in. Campers with reservations will be able to pick-up their registration packets at the camp office when park headquarters is not open. There is a self-registration/self check-in system (cash and checks accepted). Please contact the park for hours and closures in advance of your visit. Reservations can be made by calling 1-888-432-2267.
The park features three fishing areas available 24 hours, including the 710 foot Fishing Pier (24 hour operation April 1-December 30), the Causeway and the Point (year-round). A valid Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport fishing license and appropriate stamps are required. Active fishing is allowed 24 hours a day.
Night Fishing - Night fishing passes are valid from sunset to 6 a.m. All passes are valid during this time period. Fishermen wishing to stay past sunset will be required to pay an additional night-use service charge of $3 per vehicle for Maryland residents; $5 per vehicle for non-Maryland residents. All members of your party must have a valid fishing license and be actively fishing to remain in the park after sunset.
Causeway - All service charges will also apply to the Causeway area. Those wishing to stay on the Causeway will be obligated to pay both the day use and night fishing pass service charges. To remain on the Causeway after sunset you will be required to have a night fishing pass displayed.
Special Note: A Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport fishing license is required for those 16 years of age and older. For the safety of our visitors, tents are not permitted in the Day-Use Areas. Only see through sun shelters without a bottom floor are permitted.
Spending A Day At Point Lookout
- Beach Picnic Area - Open daily (6 a.m. – Sunset) starting Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Open year round with pedestrian access only during the winter season from sunrise to sunset. Limited parking is available near the entrance of the beach picnic area. The beach area has grills, picnic tables and a playground. Limited numbers of grills and picnic tables are available on a first come first served basis. Visitors are encouraged to swim in the designated swimming area when lifeguards are on duty. Guards are on duty throughout the day on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Facilities include showers and restrooms. Jelly fish may be found in our swim area. The number of jelly fish changes daily depending on the time of year and rainfall. For the safety of our visitors, tents are not permitted in the day use areas. Only see through sun shelters without a bottom floor are allowed.
- Pavilion/Shelter - This facility can accommodate 100 people maximum; reservations can be made up to one year in advance. Price does NOT include the per person service charge May through September on weekends and holidays, and the per vehicle service charge weekdays year-round. The pavilion contains a large open grill and picnic tables. Water and electric are available. The pavilion is located in the Beach Picnic Area with the swimming area and a small playing field nearby.
- Camp Store - The camp store is open May - September. The camp store offers snacks, ice cream, drinks, bait, ice, gasoline for boats, souvenirs and boating, picnicking and camping supplies. Canoe rentals are available on a first come first service basis. Please call the park for hours of operation.
- Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center - The nature center and museum are located within the Campground. Open to the general public, day visitors as well as campers. Museum and Nature Center are open seasonally, closed during the winter. Offers programs in nature and Civil War history. Please call the park office for hours of operation. Historic weapons safety guidelines for interpretive demonstration purposes as authorized by the Maryland Park Service.
- Boating - A boat launch facility and fish-cleaning station are available for boaters. Canoe rentals and supplies are also available at the camp store. Boat launch service charge is $10 for Maryland residents and $12 for non-Maryland residents per launch, valid 24 hours a day year round. Reduced services beginning December between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. Launching is permitted 24 hours a day, however, launchers should be aware that there is no lighting in the area. For emergencies call 1-800-825-7275. Maryland Passport is the only pass accepted for service charge at launch.
- Fort Lincoln - Open year round sunrise to sunset (self-guided). Re-enactments and special events are held at Fort Lincoln throughout the year. Contact the park at 301-872-5688 for more details.
- Lighthouse - Open for tours the first Saturday of each month from April-November (excluding July and September, open the second Saturday of the month) from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Contact the park at 301-872-5688 for more details.
- Hiking - Periwinkle Point Trail, a self-guided nature trail located at the back entrance of the Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center.
- Hunting - There are 200 acres set aside for deer hunting. A valid hunting license and appropriate stamps are required (all seasons except early muzzleloader). Two waterfowl blind sites are available. Hunters may enter / remain on park property outside of the regular posted hours provided that they are engaged in legitimate, authorized hunting activity.
- Trash Free - Maryland State Parks are “Trash Free." Please practice “Leave No Trace” principles and take your trash with you when you leave. To view these principles visit www.lnt.org.
Self-Guided Recreational Activities:
- Cycling Point Lookout
- Cycling St. Mary's County (Amish country)
- Cycling St. Mary's County (St. Mary's City)
- Fishing at Point Lookout
- Hiking at Point Lookout
Water Trail Guide
The Point Lookout State Park Water Trail Guide is available for sale at the park headquarters. To purchase copies of the Point Lookout State Park Trail Guide with a credit card, please "click" on this link to place your order online.
Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
A limited number of accessible campsites are available at Point lookout. The 710' fishing pier at Point Lookout is accessible. Accessible picnic sites are located at the beach area.
For additional accessible amenities in Maryland State Forests and Parks, visit the Accessibility For All section of this website.
Volunteer opportunities are plentiful at Point Lookout. Volunteers can help with special events, site maintenance, visitor center activities, and general site operations. Camp Hosts are needed for the upcoming 2013 Camping Season! For volunteer information call 301-872-5688 and ask for the Volunteer Coordinator.
Point Lookout State Park Complex will not have a Maryland Conservation Corps Program for 2012 – 2013. For opportunities at other crew locations in the Maryland Park Service, please visit the MCC website.
Point Lookout State Park
11175 Point Lookout Road
Scotland, MD 20687
Contact Point Lookout
Hours of Operation
6 a.m. to Sunset
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.
Directions from Baltimore:
From Rt. 695
Follow to Rt. 97 south to Rt. 3 south (Rt. 3 will turn into Rt. 301. Follow Rt. 301 south. From Rt. 301 south continue to Rt. 4 south in Upper Marlboro. Follow Rt. 4 south all the way across the Solomons Island Bridge. After the Solomons Island Bridge the first traffic light you come to will be Rt. 235. Turn left onto Rt. 235 south. Follow Rt. 235 south into a town called Ridge (there will be a blinking red light). Turn left onto Rt. 5 south. Follow Rt. 5 south as far as it will go (approximately 7 miles) and you will be in Point Lookout. After the entrance sign, the second road on the right will be the campground. When you arrive in the campground, park at the left and register at the Ranger Station.
Directions from Washington, D.C.:
From Rt. 495
Follow to Rt. 4/Pennsylvania Avenue south to Upper Marlboro. Continue on Rt. 4 south until you cross the Solomons Island Bridge. After the Solomons Island Bridge the first traffic light you come to will be Rt. 235. Turn left onto Rt. 235 south. Follow Rt. 235 south into a town called Ridge (there will be a blinking red light). Turn left onto Rt. 5 south. Follow Rt. 5 south as far as it will go (approximately 7 miles) and you will be in Point Lookout. After the entrance sign, the second road on the right will be the campground. When you arrive in the campground park at the left and register at the Ranger Station.
Directions from the Rt. 301 Bridge:
Follow Rt. 301 north to Rt. 234 towards Leonardtown. When you reach the end of Rt. 234 at Rt. 5 turn right. Follow Rt 5 south all the way into Point Lookout. After the entrance sign, the second road on the right will be the campground. When you arrive in the campground park at the left and register at the Ranger Station.
Contact the Park Service
- Toll Free: 1-800-830-3974
- Reservations: 1-888-432-2267
- Park Watch: 1-800-825-7275
- Email Us