Marshy Point Nature Park is a quiet little park in Middle River, MD. The park is on the peninsula of land jutting out between the Dundee and Saltpeter Creeks, and offers more than eight miles of hiking trails, a wildlife observation platform, a butterfly garden, a paddle trail, and a canoe launch and pier.
The hiking trails are pretty flat with very little elevation gain or loss as they wind through the flat coastal plain forest and adjacent wetlands. Also, the trails were not crowded. We only saw a few others on the trails with us.
Hikers will be rewarded with opportunities to observe wildlife and enjoy scenic views of Dundee and Saltpeter Creeks.
During our visit to the park, we enjoyed seeing a garter snake...
...a turtle, multiple salamanders/little lizardy critters that fled the trail as we approached, two white-tail deer, an eagle, a pair of osprey, a great blue heron, several cheeky red-wing blackbirds, a few unhappy blue jays, numerous squirrels, innumerable dragonflies and damsel flies, and a black house cat with a red collar.
Originally we were intent on just hiking the blue-blazed Dundee - Saltpeter Creek Loop Trail, just over 2 miles, which carries you through the low-lying woods along the wetlands.
We made it a loop by taking the red-blazed Weiskeittel Trail over to the white-blazed White Tail Trail, apt because it was there we saw the hind-quarters of two white-tail deer as they bounded away in a huff.
But while we were on the Dundee-Saltpeter Trail, we noticed the orange-blazed Katie and Wil's Trail and its bridge over Minnow Branch Creek, so we added that to our walk when we completed the original 2-mile loop.
Just over the bridge on Katie and Wil's Trail, we noticed the Vernal Pond Trail, and decided to follow that down to an outlook onto the creek well downstream from the bridge.
From there we decided we might as well check out the purple-blazed Brinkman's Trail and decided to follow that to see the overlook, but were stopped by the trail being blocked off for "vegetation control."
Oh well. We turned around on the Brinkman's Trail and followed that back to the Katie and Wil's Trail, back over the bridge and finally, back to our car a couple hours after we started exploring the park.
It's worth noting that Katie and Wil’s Trail is a paved accessible trail, which begins at the Nature Center and extends past the park’s wetland restoration area to Brinkman’s Road.
As you follow this trail over the creek, you're rewarded with excellent views from an observation platform and the bridge itself. Kudos to this little park for making at least one trail wheelchair accessible.
I'm not going to say I love this park, but it was a pleasant way to spend a hot summer morning, as most of the trails are under thick shade (except for portions of Katie and Wil's Trail and the Bluebird Loop. There were benches in multiple places along the trails to sit and simply enjoy being out in nature.
While there, we saw lots of parents with toddlers introducing their kids to hiking, and it's an excellent place for that, definitely, and will be even better for kids after the pandemic is over and the nature center is open once again. I've never actually been to a park that isn't worth at least one visit, and that's true for this one as well.
Getting there: 7130 Marshy Point Rd, Baltimore, MD
Hours: The park is open dawn through dusk. The nature center has more limited hours. Please check the website below for specific times.