It is your access to the Chesapeake Bay if you are a boater, fisherman or crabber and live in Maryland. And, if you are a resident of the State of Maryland, there is no charge to use this well-kept facility. Any out-of-stater that uses the launch area on weekends or Holidays, the cost is $20.00 for launching and parking, but during the week you can use it for free.
It’s Mariner Point park in Joppatowne, class “A” launching facilities that can handle just about any boat you care to trail there. It is managed by the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation and like all of their park and rec areas, it is well cared for. It is just a short ride thru a no-wake area to the Gunpowder River and excellent fishing and crabbing.
If the Chesapeake Bay is more to your liking, or you are headed for the Eastern Shore area, continue on for a few minutes more and you are in the fabled Bay. For those of you who fancy the canoe or the kayak, you may launch from the piers and there are many soft grassy places where you may launch your craft away from the power boats.
There are many areas in the park where you may fish from the shore. There are also piers that jut out into the Gunpowder. Portable toilets are scattered throughout the park and there are permanent toilet facilities in the office building near the launch area. Someone is usually on duty to answer your questions and assist you from 8 AM to 4 PM from April 1 to October 1..
If you are not a boater and if walking is your thing, what a beautiful place to get your exercise. During the Spring and Summer the oval walking area, that is paved and flat, is full of flowering trees and bushes where you will see many species of birds, and hear their beautiful singing. And keep a sharp eye out for the squirrels, there has always been a colony of Black Squirrels living in the Park. Their shiny black coats are more like exquisite black fur than hair. They live in harmony with the Gray Squirrels that we all know and love and who sometimes run along the wooden rail fences looking for a handout.
Want to spice up your walking a bit? You can take a detour on one of the nature trails that run thru a stand of old Oak and other kinds of trees that border Taylors Creek, The path is blacktop paved and has a few slopes and hills. There are several playgrounds scattered throughout the park and barbecue pits are also available for you to use. The Park is 38 acres in size plus one acre for the adjoining launch facilities.
In addition to the many tables and grills for your use, there is also a large pavilion that will accommodate up to 100 people and is available for $100.00 rental. It is suggested that you call in advance for reservations. The phone number is 410-612-1608 and this same number can be called if you have any questions about hours or the launch facilities. Someone is manning the phone from 8am to noon and from 12:30 to 4 on Monday through Friday.
At the traffic light on Rt. 40 and Joppa Farm Rd, turn into Joppatowne and proceed 1.5 miles on Joppa Farm Rd to Kearney Dr and right on Kearney Dr to the entrance to the Park. To welcome you, there is a large statue of a Mariner standing guard at the entrance to the park.
While I have your attention, let me tell you a bit more about what Harford County has set aside for you over the years. There are at present count, 112 areas designated as Parks for your use in Harford County. They vary from a couple of acres with a bench, and maybe a table for just quiet sitting and thinking, to facilities like Mariner Point Park. Some parks have a Mansion you can rent for a Wedding or a pier where you can just sit and fish the Susquehanna River. Others are large acreages along Winters Run for walking or bird watching or fishing. Some are elaborate playground parks for children of all ages and there are even areas designated as parks for mans best friend, the dog.
You can get more information on just what may be available in the area of the county where you live by calling Parks an Recreation at 410-638-3571 or you can visit them for a list at their Headquarters at 702 N Tollgate Rd in Belair. Easier still, just go on-line and pull up Harford County Parks by ZIP code.