Southern Maryland can be hot and sticky. Cool off by taking advantage of
some of the aquatic programs in the tri-county area. You can visit a
water park, take a dip in the pool, learn to swim, visit the beach, or
even take a sailing class. The options in the area are numerous. Try
some of these water activities this summer to find relief from the heat.
Swimming in Calvert County
Calvert County Parks and Recreation operates the Cove Point Park Pool
and Kings Landing Park Pool located in Lusby and Huntingtown,
respectively. Both pools offer recreational swimming and swim lessons.
"Due to public interest, we are offering water aerobics, SCUBA diving
and water polo this summer," says Paul Meadows, division chief of
Calvert County Parks and Recreation.
Meadows warns that on hot weekends both pools often reach maximum
capacity. "Please call first if you're coming from out of town. I hate
to turn people away, but sometimes we have to."
The Cove Point Pool opened last summer and features a wading pool,
slides, an eight-lane lap pool and diving boards. They are hosting two
special events for teens this summer-one on July 27.
Chesapeake Beach Water Park
You don't have to fight the traffic and lines at Six Flags or King's
Dominion. In 1995, Southern Maryland opened its first and only water
park. The Chesapeake Beach Water Park in Calvert County has eight water
slides, fountains, waterfalls, a lagoon and a kid's activity pool. There
is something for everyone.
You can also take swimming lessons or host a children's birthday party.
The admission fee varies depending on residency (Chesapeake Beach and
Calvert County residents receive a discount), age (seniors are given a
price cut), height (kids under 48" get a reduced rate), and time (they
have a lower rate after 4 p.m.). Season passes and group rates are also
The park is open from 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. daily. Each Tuesday is
Grandparent's Day where grandparents get free admission. On October 28,
the park will be open for Halloween Family Fun Night.
Swimming in Charles County
Community Services' Recreation Division in Charles County provides a
variety of recreational and leisure time experiences.
Eileen B. Minnick, chief of recreation, is excited about the new aquatic
summer camps. "New this year are several aquatic summer camps. Judging
from the registrations already received the aquatics camps seem very
She continues, "One new camp, Skate, Swim & Everything in Between begins
with the first half day at our Capital Clubhouse & Recreation Center in
Waldorf where morning sports activities will include ice skating.
Campers will then travel to North Point Pool for an afternoon of water
activities and games."
Charles County Community Services operates two, year-round indoor
community pools at Lackey and North Point high schools. During summer
months, outdoor pools at La Plata, McDonough, and Thomas Stone high
schools are available. All pools are available to the public for
recreational swimming, classes and special events.
College of Southern Maryland - La Plata Campus
CSM offers swimming courses for all ages and skill levels. One new
program at CSM is the "Splashercise-Youth Aquatic Wellness, which is an
aquatic exercise class for children ages 7-15 years old," said Eileen
Richards, who coordinates CSM's aquatics and community services.
"Aquatic Facility Management is a new three-credit course that includes
pool/spa operations certification as well as the fundamental skill set
needed to operate an aquatic facility," said Richards.
Richards is very excited about the new programs, but says that the Learn
to Swim, the Aquatic Exercise, and the Senior Aquatic Wellness classes
are the most popular at CSM. She cautions, "People should check with
their physician before beginning an exercise program. Our primary
consideration is always safety."
Boating courses, SCUBA classes, a competitive swim team, and a public
pool round out the variety of aquatic services available at the college.
Swimming in St. Mary's County
Great Mills swimming pool is a public pool that provides "opportunities
for recreational, therapeutic, instructional and competitive swimming
for all ages." The pool is open year round and is located on Great Mills
Road adjacent to Great Mills High School.
The Great Mills swimming pool also hosts the Great Mills Aquatic Club
Otters for competitive swimmers.
Another local swimming club is the Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Club (CBAC).
This competitive swim team demands year-round time and attention from
its swimmers. They swim at St. Mary's College of Maryland's Somerset
Hall. Practice times range from twice a week for level-one swimmers to
eight or more times a week for more advanced competitors.
Hit the Beach
If you are more interested in a beach atmosphere, Southern Maryland
provides several alternatives.
Point Lookout State Park in St. Mary's County has a public beach, camp
sites, boat rentals and cruises to Smith Island. The park was once the
site of the largest Union prison for Confederate POWs. While there you
can visit the Interpretive Center to learn Civil War history.
Calvert Cliffs State Park is located in Calvert County. While at the
cliffs, look for fossils (more than 600 types have been identified) and
sharks' teeth. Also enjoy hiking, picnicking, fishing and camping.
One of the best swimming beaches around is Breezy Point where a wide
sand beach has a large netted area to keep out jellyfish. Flag Ponds
Nature Park also boasts a large swimming area, although it is not
netted. However, the views at both beaches are worth the trip.
Many local beaches have no admission fees; others range from $3 to $6.
Many charge a flat rate per carload. Either way, visiting one of the
many beaches in the area is an economical and fun way to spend the
weekend. See the sidebar for additional beach offerings in the
Southern Maryland is the perfect place to be this summer. You can have
fun, get exercise, learn a skill and beat the heat all in one location.
Try out a few of these aquatic programs this summer--you'll be glad you
Bay Front Park
Chesapeake Beach, 410-257-2230
Breezy Point Public Beach
Chesapeake Beach, 410-535-1600 x225
Calvert Cliffs State Park
Lusby, Call Smallwood State Park (301-743-7613)
Elms Beach Park
Flag Ponds Nature Park
King's Landing Park
North Beach Public Beach
North Beach, 410-257-9618
Point Lookout State Park
Charles County Department of Community Services
Lackey and North Point high school indoor pools
La Plata, McDonough and Thomas Stone outdoor pools
Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Club
St. Mary's College of Maryland campus,
Chesapeake Beach Water Park
Chesapeake Beach, 410-257-1404 or 301-855-3803,
College of Southern Maryland
La Plata Campus (Boating also at Leonardtown and Prince Frederick
Cove Point Park Pool
Great Mills Swimming Pool/Great Mills Aquatic Club
Great Mills, 301-866-6560/301-994-0659
Kings Landing Park Pool