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, a community garden, 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 any questions.

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 are under human care because they would not survive in the wild, while others cannot be released due to local and federal rules and regulations. Our animal ambassador group 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 ambassadors.

Chesapeake Nature Discovery Play Space

Play space shaped like a skipjack boat   Stairs up to play space shaped like an eagle nest   Children climbing on wood play set shaped like a fish
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 sit in a man-made bald eagle nest to gain a birds-eye view and appreciate the engineering abilities of our national bird or explore our state fish in the Rock Fish replica.

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 three-sectioned tank, and our Maryland state turtle—the diamondback terrapin.

Insect Corner

Bugging Out with beehive, books and insect displays

Get a bug’s eye view by exploring the adaptations of insects.

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.

Habitat Exploration

Nature wall mural with liftable discovery panels

From woodlands and wetlands to the shallow waters of Dundee Creek, animals are adapted to life in different habitats. This interactive wall reveals who lives where throughout Marshy Point.

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.

Ducking on Dundee Creek

Wall mural of duck hunting with ducks above and shotguns below

The relationship between humans and natural resources have changed over time. The tools that people used to hunt waterfowl have changed through time along with our attitudes about the importance of conservation.

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.