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Cecil County Life

Elk Neck State Park: The peninsula of dreams

Dec 07, 2022 11:08AM ● By Tricia Hoadley
Photos by Jim Coarse
Text by Richard L. Gaw

While it is perfectly logical to assume that the 2,370-acre Elk Neck State Park has become Cecil County’s most spectacular postcard, it is also the county’s most natural and beautiful gift, given by the Gods of Nature and the visionaries of ingenuity to those who ask that their most prominent park have everything.

It is a dream, realized.

Located just a short drive from North East, Elk Neck State Park ushers in the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River, and offers all of the landscapes that have helped to define Cecil County -- from marshlands to old forests to white clay cliffs to sandy shorelines to its 12 miles of trails.

Divided into four areas, Elk Neck State Park includes the North East Beach Area, a popular destination in the western portion of the park that features a swimming area, canoe/kayak launch, picnic shelters, picnic tables and grills; the , that offers public boating access to the Elk River and fishing piers; and the  on the eastern portion of the peninsula that offers over 250 campsites, 16 cabins, a youth group camping area, park store, playground and a nature center.

If there is a shining star at Elk Neck State Park that rises above the rest – figuratively and literally -- it is Turkey Point, located at the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula. Here, visitors can enjoy a 270-degree view of the Chesapeake Bay, and admire the flight of eagles and hawks at the Raptor Viewing Field. It is also the home of the sparkling-white Turkey Point Lighthouse, a 35-foot-high structure built in 1833 and once used to project light 13 miles down the Chesapeake Bay to direct ships safely away from the shorelines.

Elk Neck State Park is located at 4395 Turkey Point Road in North East, Md. For more information, call 410-287-5333. The park is operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

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