If you’d like to spend a day hiking while visiting Annapolis, take a hike on the Cross Island Trail (CIT) on scenic Kent Island, which is less than 15 miles away by car. It is a 6-mile rail trail, occupying a portion of the defunct Queen Anne’s Railroad that traverses the isle. A member of the American Discovery Trail system, CIT was completed in 2001.
The Cross Island Trail starts from Terrapin Nature Park, which is a habitat preserve for native plants and birds. A little beyond is a small graveyard with less than a dozen tombstones. The path then snakes through neighborhoods as well as areas where hemlocks and white pines stand. Upon reaching the Mile 1 marker, the trail passes the local public sports recreational area, Old Love Point Park.
CIT then enters farmland, and from there a lighthouse is visible near the seashore. Before mile 4, a short walk through a back road will reconnect you to the trail. Once again on the CIT, you will shortly come upon a lengthy wooden bridge, which will offer an exceptional view of open water and the highlight of your hiking journey.
The Cross Island Trail then heads uphill, crossing a causeway on US 50. After reaching the Kent Narrows Marina, you may go left and into the Chesapeake Exploration Center, which is described “as the gateway to Queen Anne’s County, the Eastern Shore, and the Chesapeake Bay Region. The center features an interactive exhibit…that explores the relationship between humans and the Chesapeake Bay over time – how that relationship has shaped the culture and history of the region, as well as the environment of the Bay.” Veering right instead will have you staying on the trail. The CIT eventually becomes a series of sidewalks leading to the waterfront.
Parking and Trail Access
To reach the trailhead at Terrapin Nature Park from Annapolis, drive east on US 50 to Exit 37 (1st exit after crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge) and turn left onto State Route 8. Upon reaching Chesapeake Bay Business Park, make a left turn. Keep driving until reaching Terrapin Nature Park, where parking and restrooms are available.
A B&B Near Cross Island Trail
Terrapin Nature Park is a little more than 20 minutes away by car from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your bed and breakfast room at our toll free number 877-330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.