Hart-Miller Island State Park is a 1,100-acre island located in Baltimore County on the Chesapeake Bay. It is the perfect getaway island known as a paradise for boaters and a haven for various species of plants, insects, and wildlife.
Once two islands, Hart and Miller, underwent immense changes from 1981 until 2009 and were combined into one. Government authorities are doing their best to preserve the island’s integrity and ecosystems, which is reflected in their regulations.
Hart-Miller Island boasts a 3,000-foot sandy beach where visitors can swim or sunbathe, while Hawk Cove and Pleasure Island is a fantastic location for recreational activities, like camping, hiking, and birding.
History of Hart-Miller Island
The Hart-Miller Island we know today was very different about 30 years ago. Some believe the government didn’t know where to store sediment dredged from ship channels, while some say the island was sinking and needed intervention.
Either way, the solution was to deposit sediment on the remains of two natural islands, Hart and Miller. And this turned the two islands (Hart and Miller) into one. The island now has loads of sediment from the first dump in 1984 and the last in 2009.
Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) opened the 300-acre southern area of Hart-Miller Island to the public for recreational activities. However, about 1,100 acres remained off-limits.
The island is quiet and has always attracted boaters and campers. The island, beach, bird sanctuary, and camping sites are fabulous getaways for locals and tourists alike.
Things To Do On Hart-Miller Island
A trip to the island is chock full of activities:
Hart-Miller Island, Hawk Cove, and Pleasure Island have sandy, white beaches that are perfect for you to relax under the heat of the sun. The beach is more than half a mile long, so there is plenty of space to set up your umbrella and spend hours listening to and playing on the waves.
The island is relatively secluded and its waters are clear, making it an ideal spot for a swim. The inviting waters are calm and perfect for when you’re done sunbathing.
After a round of swimming, you can head to the concession stands for a quick snack or shaved ice, too!
Hart-Miller Island has plenty of picnic tables. You can set up your food and picnic blanket at the beach as well. Visitors can make their way to the observation stand, where they’ll have a perfect view of the marshy land—a sight to behold indeed.
Hart-Miller’s south cell has over eight miles of trails around a beautiful pond. While on this hike, you will be graced by breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay, and you’ll encounter various details about the island’s wildlife, ecosystems, and history.
The South Cell of Hart-Miller Island is accessible from Thursday to Monday (May 1st to September 30th) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Make use of the free trails by hopping on a bike. The South Cell has rental options available for when you want to explore the vast expanse of the island on your two-wheeler.
That said, bike rentals are not available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so plan your trip accordingly.
Birders will be happy to know that just a few miles away from the city is a sanctuary for birds. In fact, the park is well-known for its abundant migrating bird populations.
The park often hosts birding tours; you can rent a pair of binoculars and guides from the concession stand if you wish to witness some rare species.
Those who love the outdoors will have a wonderful time at Hart-Miller Island State Park because of the abundance of campsites—there are currently 22 open to the public.
Hart-Miller Island houses six sites, Hawk Cove has 11, and Pleasure Island has five. All of them have picnic tables, lantern posts, and campfire grills. For a small registration fee of $6 per night, you can enjoy an enjoyable camping experience. Book as early as you can, as the campsites fill up quickly.
You can travel to Hart-Miller Island through the following routes:
At the moment, visitors can only access the island via personal boats or watercraft. There are no public boat services available yet. Consider this when planning a trip to Hart-Miller Island.
Hart-Miller Island’s South Cell is open to the public from May 1 to September 30. All of Hawk Cove and Pleasure Island are open to the public.
Currently, the north cell of Hart-Miller Island is closed to the public. Even though the island doesn’t receive dredge material, the portion is closed. It will remain closed until further notice.
- Free entry for daytime use
- $6 per night for camping after setup
Hart-Miller Island Amenities
- Water supply
- Camping areas
- Observation platform
- Bike rentals
- Binoculars, bird guides, Hart-Miller Island map
- Concession stands for sodas, snacks, and snowballs
Hart-Miller Island Information
- Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset daily. Registered campers only after sunset
- South Cell – May 1st to September 30th
- Address: Gunpowder Falls State Park, 2813 Jerusalem Rd., P.O. Box 480, Kingsville, MD 21087
- Phone: 410-592-2897
Visit Hart-Miller Island State Park
Whether you’re new to Maryland or are a resident, visiting Hart-Miller Island State Park is a must. The white, sandy beaches, clear waters, and abundant wildlife make it a unique experience.
Boating to Hart-Miller Island is the gateway to ultimate relaxation. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, or picnicking by the beach. Indulge in Hart-Miller Island camping, hiking, and biking to make the most of your vacation. And if you’re all about birds, the island has rental binoculars and bird guides to help you spot the rare migrant birds that visit the island.
The concession stands have snacks, sodas, and more if you’re feeling peckish after a long day on the 3,000-foot beach or 8-mile hike. You can also take your pet along as long as you keep it leashed at all times.