Elk Neck State Park

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Elk Neck State Park
Turkey Point Lighthouse.jpg
Map showing the location of Elk Neck State Park
Map showing the location of Elk Neck State Park
Location in Maryland
LocationCecil, Maryland, United States
Coordinates39°29′04″N 75°58′59″W / 39.48444°N 75.98306°W / 39.48444; -75.98306Coordinates: 39°29′04″N 75°58′59″W / 39.48444°N 75.98306°W / 39.48444; -75.98306[2]
Area2,191 acres (8.87 km2)[3]
Elevation118 ft (36 m)[2]
OperatorMaryland Department of Natural Resources
WebsiteElk Neck State Park

Elk Neck State Park is a public recreation area located between Chesapeake Bay and the Elk River near the southern tip of the Elk Neck Peninsula in Cecil County, Maryland. The state park is home to the historic Turkey Point Light and offers land-based and water-based recreation.[4] The park is located on MD 272, eight miles (13 km) south of the town of North East, and 13 miles (21 km) south of exit 100 on I-95. It is operated by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.


The park had its genesis when, in 1936, naturalist Dr. William Abbott bequeathed his holdings along the Elk River to the state for use as a state park. Although he originally intended the land to be a gift to the Boy Scouts, a meeting with State Forester Fred W. Besley in 1935 persuaded Abbott to change the terms of his will. Following the state's purchase of additional acreage, the Civilian Conservation Corps created park improvements from 1937 to 1941.[5]

Activities and amenities[edit]

Turkey Point Lighthouse

Dating from 1833, the Turkey Point Lighthouse sits on a 100-foot (30 m) bluff overlooking the Upper Chesapeake Bay. The 35-foot (11 m) tower is a "private aid to navigation" maintained by a non-profit organization, Turkey Point Light Station, Inc., which offers weekend tours seasonally.[6]


The park offers more than 250 campsites, rustic cabins, camper cabins, and youth group sites.[7]


The park has 12 miles (19 km) of trails for hiking and biking.[8]

Trail Name Length Difficulty
White Banks Trail 3 miles (4.8 km) Difficult
Mauldin Mountain Loop 1.5 miles (2.4 km) Difficult
Pond Loop 1 mile (1.6 km) Moderate
Farm Road Trail 1 mile (1.6 km) Moderate
Beaver Marsh Loop 4 miles (6.4 km) Difficult
Lighthouse Trail 2 miles (3.2 km) Easy
Ravines Loop .75 miles (1.2 km) Moderate
Water recreation

The park offers a swimming beach, fishing, and crabbing, plus a boat launch and launch area for canoeing and kayaking.[9][10]


The park is part of the Northeastern coastal forests ecoregion, with a landscape characterized by deep forests, bluffs, beaches, and marshlands.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

The park was used as a filming location for the 1997 Clint Eastwood movie Absolute Power[12][13] and as the setting of an episode of the television series Hannibal.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Elk Neck State Park". Protected Planet. IUCN. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Elk Neck State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  3. ^ "Fiscal Year 2016 DNR Owned Lands Acreage" (PDF). Maryland Department of Natural Resources. July 29, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  4. ^ "Elk Neck State Park". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  5. ^ Demond, Lucia (December 1991). "Elk Neck State Park" (PDF). Bulletin of the Historical Society of Cecil County. Elkington, Md. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  6. ^ Duvall, Mike W. "History: Turkey Point Light Station". Turkey Point Light Station, Inc. Retrieved December 10, 2013.
  7. ^ "Elk Neck River Camping Area". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  8. ^ "Trails at Elk Neck" (PDF). Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  9. ^ "North East Beach Area and Picnic Shelters". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  10. ^ "Rogues Harbor Boat Launch Facility". Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  11. ^ Olson, D.M.; Dinerstein, E.; et al. (2001). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth". BioScience. 51 (11): 933–938. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2001)051[0933:TEOTWA]2.0.CO;2.
  12. ^ "Absolute Power (1997) Filming Locations". IMDB. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  13. ^ "Absolute Power (1997)". Movie Tourist. August 26, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2014.

External links[edit]