Naturalist showing small turtle to childrenSituated on the Upper Chesapeake Bay along Dundee and Saltpeter Creeks, Marshy Point offers stands of old and young forest, open meadows, freshwater wetlands, and a web of tidal creeks and marshes for visitors to enjoy and explore. In combination with adjacent state and federal land, Marshy Point is part of a natural preserve encompassing more than 3,000 acres.

Today, Marshy Point Park features over eight miles of hiking trails, two self-guided nature trails, a canoe launch and pier, a wildlife observation platform, and a butterfly garden.

The Nature Center is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day (except holidays), and the park is open from 9am to sunset every day. There are a variety of exhibits and activities to check out around the Nature Center, and staff members are happy to answer questions and show wildlife.

Native Wildlife

Painted turtle   Blue crab

Marshy Point Nature Center is home to more than 50 different species of native wildlife. Most of these animals have been donated or are in captivity because they would not survive in the wild. Our collection includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Visitor favorites include diamondback terrapins, several species of snakes, and our barred owl. The best way to learn more about our local wildlife is to stop by the Center, ask a naturalist, and have an up-close encounter with one of our animal residents.

Chesapeake Nature Discovery Play Space

Play space shaped like a skipjack boat   Stairs up to play space shaped like an eagle nest
The young and young at heart are encouraged to discover the Chesapeake by playing on some of its most iconic features. Our 3/4 scale skipjack (the Z.H. Barnickel) allows visitors to take the helm of an old time oyster boat. You can also climb a replica bald eagle nest to gain a birds-eye view and appreciate the engineering abilities of our national bird.

Bird Corner and Osprey Nest Cam

Bird Corner display including bird box, osprey nest, mounted specimens, and TV

Learn about the birds that visit and/or live along the Chesapeake, and watch the happenings on Dundee Creek year-round—from osprey nest season to the Winter time when waterfowl arrive.

Chesapeake Connections

Map of Chesapeake Bay with push button board   Touch tank with painted steps and walls around it

We all have a connection to the Bay. Almost everyone in Maryland lives in the watershed of our nation’s largest estuary. Check out an interactive Chesapeake map, a kids’ touch tank, and our Maryland state turtle—the diamondback terrapin.

Insect Corner

Insect books, puzzles, and stuffed animals on table

Get a bug’s eye view by exploring the adaptations of insects and watching the busy bees of our observation hive at work.

Kid’s Corner

Kid play area inside Nature Center

Kids can hunker down in this duck blind-shaped structure to enjoy games, activities, and nature storybooks.

Reefs of the Chesapeake

Wall display with three reef balls and oysters nearby

Showcases the oyster reef ecology of the Chesapeake Bay—from abundance during the early days of English colonization, to depletion and restoration at present, to a hopeful future.

Sounds of the Marsh

Exhibit with tree and push button box   Painting of frog saying Can you match the animals with their calls?

Push a button on this ‘talking tree’ for an exciting surprise, and match the call/sound with the animal that made it.

Matching Bones and Talking Bones

Matching Bones display with collection of bones and animal information   Top of Talking Bones display with two animal skulls

Visitors can learn how animals are built by matching them with their bones.

Mounted Specimens

Mounted groundhogs with books and calendar

Taxidermy specimens of animals that are rarely seen in the wild can be looked at up close throughout the Nature Center.

Nature Library

Shelves full of nature books and resources

Read or research in our large collection of environmental and natural history books.