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Annapolis locals can reconnect with nature by taking a hike on the Cross Island Trail (CIT) on scenic Kent Island. 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 finished in 2001.

The Journey

The Cross Island Trail starts from Terrapin Nature Park, which is a habitat preserve for native plants and birds. A little past the park 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 the Mile 4 marker, a short walk through a back road will reconnect you to the trail. Once again on CIT, you will come upon a lengthy wooden bridge, which will offer an exceptional view of open water and the highlight of the journey.

The Cross Island Trail then heads uphill, crossing a causeway on US 50. After reaching the Kent Narrows Marina, go left into the Chesapeake Exploration Center. This public facility features an interactive exhibit illustrating the relationship between people and the Chesapeake Bay in terms of history and the environment.  If you veer right next, the trail eventually becomes a series of sidewalks leading to the waterfront.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the trailhead at Terrapin Nature Park from Annapolis, head east on US 50 to Exit 37 (the 1st exit after crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge) then turn left onto State Route 8. Upon reaching Chesapeake Bay Business Park, make a left turn. Keep driving until you reach Terrapin Nature Park, where parking and toilets are available.

For More Information: Cross Island Trail

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