Find Your Chesapeake: Janes Island State Park

Attraction magazine has partnered with the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Office and Chesapeake Conservancy to help readers find their next adventure. Each month, we’ll feature a new place from their helpful website, There, you can also sign up for an e-newsletter, Trips and Tips, that delivers fresh ideas to your inbox each week.

Ready to try something new? At, also find expert advice on experiences like birdwatching, fishing, camping, and hiking. Their team also developed content to help people explore the Chesapeake virtually.

Janes Island State Park. Photograph courtesy of Julie Dieguez.

This month the spotlight is on Janes Island State Park, located just outside Crisfield on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The park consists of two “separate” sections: The mainland component of the park has cabins and camping; the island portion includes over 2,900 acres of saltmarsh, over 30 miles of water trails and six miles of gorgeous, isolated white sand beaches – and is only accessible by boat.

First, a bit of history about how Janes Island became separated from the mainland. For years, watermen heading out of Crisfield to prime crabbing and oyster grounds had to sail west around Janes Island, often braving rough seas. A man named Daugherty began digging a canal shortcut in 1918 that was completed in the 1930s, providing overjoyed watermen a safe, quick route north.

The canal also provides opportunities for fishing and handline crabbing off the park’s bulkhead and to creating one of North America’s best paddle trails. Janes Island offers more than 30 miles of marked water trails that wind through the island’s saltmarsh. There are seven water trails ranging from 1.25 to 12 miles, including routes through creeks, marshes and open waters. Most of the trails are protected from wind and current, providing ideal conditions for both novice and experienced paddlers.

Photograph of Janes Island State Park beach courtesy of Julie Dieguez.

Within the mainland portion of the park are 103 campsites, rental cabins, a lodge, picnic areas, pavilions, and the boat ramp and marina. A haven for birds, fish, crabs and other saltmarsh dwellers, Janes provides visitors a tranquil setting to explore the wildlife of the Bay while enjoying the stunningly beautiful sunsets and some of the most beautiful white sand beaches to be found in the entire Bay.

Janes Island is also known for its prodigious insect population, so now is a good time to plan a fall visit.

“Whether fishing or crabbing, motor boating, paddling or simply relaxing, visitors to Janes Island will experience a world still ruled by the weather, the tides and the wildlife that first drew people to this very special place.” (, Janes Island State Park)

For more resources about Janes Island, visit

A Camping/Paddling Adventure on Janes Island is a great preview of camping and paddling Janes Island State Park, including some enticing sunset and beach photos.

Visit for more adventures on Janes Island.

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Allison Rogers


Attraction Magazine

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