Point Lookout State Park is located on a peninsula at the confluence of the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. The park encompasses 1,079 acres of forest, marsh, and sandy beaches. It’s a very popular park in the summer, where day-use areas fill to capacity on most weekends. The park also includes the preserved site of a Civil War prison camp, the Point Lookout Lighthouse, a large campground, boat launch facilities, and fishing and crabbing piers.
There are 143 spacious campsites at Point Lookout that are spread out among several camping loops. Most of the loops are located in a forest setting, and tall reed grass between campsites make them feel very secluded. The B loop offers more open campsites, right on the water.
The 26 sites have full hookups, and 33 have electricity only. Dogs are not permitted in loop C or D of the campground.The Tulip loop is a full hookup loop and is open year round to self-contained campers. No restrooms are available in the winter. Six people are permitted at each campsite.
There are six camping cabins available to rent, as well. These come with bunks for four people, an outdoor picnic table, and a fire ring.
Because Point Lookout State Park is so large, you will probably have to drive or ride bikes to get from place to place. There are lots of activities and historical sites to explore, and interpretive programs are offered on many summer weekends.
Swimming and other beach activities are the biggest draw at Point Lookout. The swimming beach can be very crowded, but the water is clean with a sandy bottom. There is a separate beach for dogs.
Fishing is also very popular with campers and daytime visitors. There are piers for fishing, separate piers for crabbing, and a fishing beach. There is also a full-service boat launch with a fish-cleaning station and a park store with provisions, including bait, as well as canoe and kayak rentals.
Other park activities include hiking the Periwinkle Nature Trail, which connects the nature center to the camping loop (watch out for poison ivy), the Point Lookout Lighthouse, which was built in 1830, and a restored Civil War fort.
Point Lookout State Park was once the site of a prison camp that imprisoned as many as 52,264 Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. You can learn more about the park’s history at the nature center and Civil War museum.