Recreation in La Plata, MD
PHOTO CREDIT: Stephen Cherry
It's easy to be a good sport in Charles County, which has dozens of opportunities for recreation throughout the year.
The county is surrounded by the Potomac, Patuxent and Wicomico rivers, making it ideal for boating, fishing, water skiing, tubing, canoeing and kayaking. The Potomac River is recognized as a world-class waterway to fish for largemouth bass, and is also a great place for blue catfish and stripers.
Meanwhile, the region's overall system of rivers and lakes is a hotbed for all kinds of paddling and pedaling. The rivers are open to those looking to explore on their own, and visitors can also take guided tours of the waterways.
Those looking for an extra special day on the Potomac can paddle to Mallows Bay, home to the largest shipwrecked fleet in the Western Hemisphere. Approximately 150 abandoned World War I ships have been there since 1920, partially submerged in the bay. The gorgeous and haunting sight is only accessible by canoe or kayak.
Golfers in Charles County have plenty of venue choices, including the public White Plains Golf Course in White Plains as well as Atlantic Golf at Potomac Ridge in Waldorf. Other public destinations include Naval Surface Warfare Center Golf Course in Indian Head, Wicomico Shores Golf Course in Mechanicsville, and Swan Point Yacht and Country Club in Swan Point. A top private course is Hawthorne Country Club in La Plata.
Parks and Recreation
The Charles County Parks & Recreation Division oversees 13 public parks in the community. Some of the most visited are Gilbert Run Park, Laurel Springs Regional Park, Mallows Bay Park and White Plains Regional Park.
During summer months, the department also operates outdoor pools at La Plata, McDonough and Thomas Stone. Besides public swimming, the facilities have programs such as swim lessons, pool rentals, water aerobics and lifeguard training.
As for sports, the division coordinates outdoor leagues for men's softball, coed softball, men's soccer, women's soccer, youth soccer, and youth tackle football and cheerleading. The county also features hiking and biking options, including the Indian Head Rail Trail that has an old railway renovated into a handicap-accessible paved walkway. At Maxwell Hall Park, a 14-mile trail is open to hikers along with horseback riders.
Last, but certainly not least, outdoor adventurers can find plenty to do at Charles County's Purse State Park, which offers hunting, fishing, birding and fossil hunting.