Southern Maryland: Chapel Point State Park to Smallwood State Park

Leaving Chapel Point, the route visits places with names nearly as old as Maryland — Port Tobacco, Thomas Stone, Nanjemoy Creek, Tayloe Neck. This section is all road-walking — for now. Recent and planned acquisitions by state and federal agencies, along with existing land owned by the State of Maryland, offer the prospects of a lot of off-road hiking close to the river. As with most of the Southern Maryland PHT, these roads are often wide-shouldered and always full of scenic rewards, whether covered on foot, bicycle or car.


Start: Chapel Point State Park at Chapel Point Road trailhead
End: Smallwood State Park at Route 224
Miles: 20.6
Points of Interest: Chapel Point State Park, Port Tobacco Historic District, Thomas Stone Historic Site, Doncaster State Demonstration Forest, Smallwood State Park, Mattawoman Creek Art Center
Parking: Chapel Point State Park (0.0), Port Tobacco (3.1), Thomas Stone Historical Site (turn-off at 3.1), Doncaster State Forest (12.8), Smallwood State Park (20.6)
Water, restroom: Thomas Stone National Historic Site; La Plata
Provisions: Various businesses along the Route 5 road walk
Camping: Chapel Point State Park, Goose Bay Marina and Campground, Smallwood State Park


Hike Data

Mile Navigation
0 Chapel Point State Park; camping by permit. From Pisces Lane, turn left on Chapel Point Rd.
0.7 Cross Megan Lane - very narrow!
3.1 Port Tobacco Historic Site
3.2 Causeway St., turn left
3.4 Route 6 (La Plata Rd.); turn left. To visit the town of La Plata, turn right on Route 6 and continue for 2.5 miles.
3.5 Rosehill Rd. To reach Thomas Stone Historic Site, turn right on Rosehill and go 1.3 miles to entrance on left.
4.5 Blossom Point Rd. To reach Goose Bay camping, follow Blossom Point Td. 1.5 miles to Brentland Rd. Turn left on Brentland Rd. The campground entrance (Goose Bay Lane) is 1 mile on the left.
6.2 Pass through Welcome, MD. Nice wide shoulders.
7.7 Shoulder narrows.
8.3 Route 6 veers right. Continue on Route 6.
10.7 Route 425. Continue straight on Route 6.
12.9 Forest Rd. on right. Turn right on Forest Rd. to visit Doncaster State Forest.
13.9 Junction with Route 344 (Chicamuxen Rd.). Turn right on 344. Turn left on Gilroy Rd. for an alternate entrance to the southern portion of Doncaster Demonstration Forest (no signage).
16.0 Route 344 becomes 224. Stay straight on 224.
17.2 Chicamuxen Wildlife Management Area. Parking and information available at left.
18.8 Wide shoulders.
20.6 Lucille Thornton Pl. Turn left into Smallwood State Park.



Port Tobacco Historic District
Historic Port Tobacco Court House is located on Chapel Point Road near the intersection of Route 6 and Chapel Point Road. In 1685 a naval port of entry for the British crown, the town remained a major port through the end of the Revolutionary War. Once the county seat for Charles County, the site is also the original village location of the Potopaco natives. The 1819 Courthouse, 1876 one-room schoolhouse, and museum are open for tours April through October, and other times by appointment. Tour admission fee: $2 per adult, $1 per child.

Thomas Stone National Historic Site
The site preserves the homestead of Thomas Stone, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and among those framing the Articles of Confederation. Exhibits chronicle archeological information and plantation life in the colonial and federal periods. The facility also contains a bookstore with material focusing on colonial life, the Declaration of Independence, and the Revolutionary War. Footpaths provide the primary access through the estate. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Monday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call for off-season hours.

Afro-American Heritage Society Museum
Chronicling African American History in Southern Maryland from 1658 onward, this museum is open by appointment only. Call for more details or to make an appointment.

Doncaster Demonstration Forest
Managed by the State of Maryland, this 1,447 acre demonstration forest offers 13 miles of trails and access roads open to equestrians, hikers, and cross-country skiers, as well as hunters, September through January. Forested picnic areas make a nice stopping point for lunch. Park at the Forest Rd. entrance and pick up a trail map at the trailer. Call 301-934-2543 for more information.

Last updated: July 7, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Potomac Heritage NST Office
P. O. Box B

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


(304) 535-4014

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