Like its better-known neighbor Calvert Cliffs State Park, Flag Ponds Nature Park has spectacular views of the cliffs, but with just a short stroll to the beach, this county park is the more accessible of the two. Until the 1950s the area was a busy fishery, and some of the buildings from that era still stand. Today it beckons with bathhouses, a fishing pier, 3 mi of gently graded hiking trails, observation decks at two ponds, a boardwalk through wetlands, and indoor wildlife exhibits. Soaring cliffs, flat marshland, and wildflowers (including the blue flag iris, for which the park is named) provide stunning contrasts. A shark's tooth, which scientists date at more than 10 million years, is the big prize in a fossil hunt on the beach, one of the park's most popular activities.
Rte. 2/4, Lusby, Maryland, 20678, United States