Here we go yet again. Feel free to chime in on the...
Terrapin Nature Park & Cross Island Trail – Kent Island, MD
Combining the oyster shell trails of the Terrapin Nature Park and the asphalt Cross Island Trail offers a great opportunity to experience some diverse bike trail conditions in the same outing. The Terrapin Nature Park in Stevensville, MD lies almost in the shadow of the Bay Bridge. With approximately 3 miles of wide off road trail with a wide variety of surface material including oyster shell, gravel, dirt and even sand, the Terrapin Nature Park shares a parking lot with the western end of the Cross Island Trail on Kent Island.
So if you can’t decide between an off-road or bike trail adventure for your next cycling outing this could be a great choice for you. The off road trails are NOT challenging, but they do offer the opportunity to get the feel of dirt under you wheels. What you are really going to want to come for is the view. The off road portion of this trip travels right up to and alongside the Chesapeake Bay just north of the Bay Bridge. You are almost guaranteed to see some form of wildlife – deer, eagle, osprey, kite-surfer – well, I guess only in certain circles are kite-surfers considered wildlife but you still might be able to spend some time watching one fly through the air and scoot across the water.
I would recommend departing the parking lot in a clockwise direction which will allow you to eventually connect with the Cross Island Trail asphalt trail. There are a few road crossings during the first 2 miles. In my experience, the motorists on Kent Island are some of the MOST considerate drivers you will come across. It is routine for them to stop and wave you across after you have stopped granting them right of way.
The Cross Island Trail has many well maintained wooden bridge crossings that offer great photo opportunities.
The western end of the trail lies in Kent Narrows presenting you with a fine selection of outstanding restaurants if you so choose. On your return trip don’t miss the Chesapeake Exploration Center which serves as the central hub of the trail where you can see a Chesapeake Bay skipjack.
The Cross Island Trail is only about 6 miles in one direction, but you can always hook up with the South Island Trail and put together a challenging ride – but we’ll have to leave that for another day.