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A Lens Focused on Maryland: Hammerman Area

Updated on September 23, 2014

Gunpowder Falls State Park: Hammerman Area

Maryland is a beautiful state with such a diverse geography that you are sure to find a State Park here that suits your needs. From mountains, to ocean beaches, to tidal marshes, and dense wooded areas, you can spend your day outdoors in whatever setting you crave at that particular moment. One of my favorite state parks in Maryland is Gunpowder Falls State Park, the Hammerman beach area.

Let me introduce you to the beauty of Maryland at Hammerman Park.

Image Credit: These photographs are my personal photographs from my travels. Images are Dawn Rae - All Rights Reserved.

Chesapeake Bay by Air - Have an appetizer.

I love this little movie. I have seen it probably more than 50 times on public television and I never grow tired of it. A little glimpse to get you in the mood.

Chesapeake Bay By Air (Blu-ray + DVD Combo pack)
Chesapeake Bay By Air (Blu-ray + DVD Combo pack)
A relaxing aerial tour of the Chesapeake Bay; including 35 areas. A visual feast of the area.

One of My Favorite Spots Close to Home

Soon after I transplanted to Maryland, I found many different spots in the Gunpowder Falls Park, the rivers and trails, and visited them often. Then I learned that it culminates at Hammerman beach area. The winding, flowing, boulder-strewn river opens into what I call "The Bay". I would go and sit and watch "The Bay" for hours. While I still insist on calling it the bay, it is really the tidal, brackish waters of a river. The Gunpowder River.

Mountains, Beach, Dessert, Wooded Area...

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Getting There and Getting In

The physical address of the park is 7400 Graces Quarters, Chase, MD 21027.

Hammerman is a state park with a fee and certain hours of operation. I'd advise you to check out the official site before you go if you aren't local or if you are traveling a distance. Occasionally, I forget what time it is and end up there after hours, but I don't mind since I know the local hour and can find plenty of other areas to park, walk, and putter around.

The entrance fee is less during the off season. Currently, it is $3 for me to get in (off season). It goes as high (currently) as $7 per person, non-resident, in the summer season. It is cost effective to purchase an annual state park pass if you are going to go to Maryland State Parks multiple times. Also, in the off-season, it is often a honor-pay system. Having an annual pass would eliminate having to make sure you have three bucks on you, stop at the gate, and mess with the little envelope and hang-tag.

Watersports on "The Bay"

Oops, I mean on Gundpowder River at Hammerman.

Every time I go to the park, except in the very dead of winter when the waves meet ice before they meet the sand, I see people playing on the water. The larger boats (recreational, fishing, and crabbing) pass by at a distance. Closer to the shore are the people who are kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, sailing, and on and on.

If you own your own water sport equipment, you can launch it at the beach area, if it is light enough to carry down a small hill and across a bit of lawn and beach. Or, you can launch it at the boat launch on the other side of the park.

If you do not own your own water sport equipment, you can rent from Ultimate Watersports. Everyone I know who has rented equipment here, has said good things about their experience. I have finally kayaked, in Florida with my sons, but I haven't here yet. I will get around to it someday. And I hope to own my own kayak by then. However, if I get motivated to go before then, I would definitely rent from Ultimate Watersports.

In a way, I prefer tucking in along the shoreline, in a secluded place on crowded days. Or sitting on the beach on the days when I almost have the property to myself. And I watch the birds and boaters. It's a beautiful sight.

Flora and Fauna - Something to see everytime I am there.

If you are quiet and watchful, you will see some pretty amazing things while at this park.

The birds are amazing. I love the Osprey most of all. I'd never seen an Osprey before moving to Maryland. Now I not only see them regularly, but i can hear their chirp and know they are in the area long before I see them. I also have seen Bald Eagles in this area many times. It is not as often as seeing the Osprey, but it still has been more times than I ever imagined I'd see Bald Eagles in my lifetime.

I see fast moving deer. I've seen tiny, white speckled fawns. I've seen turtles and even yucky snakes. Sorry, I don't like snakes when we are out in the open and they can sneak up on a girl.

If you like dragonflies, this is the place to be.

Butterflies are often around. I have recently learned that milkweeds provide a home or food to butterflies. There are stands of milkweeds here. I even love the weeds, especially in the fall as they open and the little strings of fluff float off.

There are a large variety of trees and the leaves are spectacular in the fall. And there are flowers. I love walking the trails in the spring and finding the random bunches of daffodils.

On the marsh side of the park, there are many different types of what I call cattails and marsh grasses. No matter what time of year, there is spectacular sights to see.

Picnicking, Playing, or Getting Your Exercise

There are many large pavilions to choose from. And each Pavilion appears to have plenty of tables, grills, and some have water sources. In the "on" season, there are permanent park bathrooms near the pavilions. Check the DNR site for policies about reserving the pavilions.

There are multiple playgrounds for the children. some of the playgrounds are quite large and extensive, and on the main drive/parking areas. I'm trying to say that they are impossible to miss and easy to access. There are other playgrounds that are smaller and tucked away.

In addition to the Pavilions with the picnic areas, there are an enormous amount of spots with picnic tables scattered throughout the park. If you want to be near many people, you can be. If you want to find a completely secluded spot to sit and write or read (like me), you can always find it.

The layout of this park is great for a walk, jog, or bike ride. It's probably slightly small for very serious bicyclists. And there aren't the bike paths like my son enjoys, that I know of. But there are many elderly folks who ride around the paved drive loop. There also appear to be locals who ride through. When I'm in need of a decent walk, I walk the loop of the park. Because the roadway is mostly one way, and the roadway seems fairly wide, it is a comfortable place to take a long walk.

A Secluded Playground.

There are multiple playgrounds for the children. Some are small and secluded, as shown in the photograph. Others are very large playgrounds and located directly on the main road in the park. They are all easy to locate. Each playground, with the exception of the one in the photograph, have restroom facilities located next to the play area. Please note that, however, that most of the restrooms are closed during the off season. Several portable restrooms are located in the park during the off season.

Ever been to Hammerman Area?

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The Beach

The vast majority of folks seem to visit during the "on" season and congregate at the beach. The beach is pretty fantastic. Hard to believe we are just miles from Baltimore City. It is a fairly long beach and life guards are present during season. I prefer the beach in the off season. I love the water bird prints in the sand. And watching the birds fishing while sitting quietly.

The Osprey often catch their meal and fly to the trees near the parking lot, or their nest on the nesting poles, to snack. It's all a spectacular thing to watch.

Families enjoy this beach very much. It is convenient, large, and the children love it. This photo shows only one section of the beach. There are at least 3 sections, this size, with life guards. There are another 2-3 sections of this size, heading in the direction of the Ultimate Watersports shed, that aren't guarded. The water is very shallow in this area. So unlike some places where the boats speed by fairly close, the motored boats are quite a ways out.

Bird Watching at the "Bay"

I love watching the birds. I am learning to identify them. I'm still not very good at it. But books such as these are helpful and interesting.

I Write Here

There are so many beautiful spots. I have gone here many times, in warmer weather, to sit outside and write or read. Whether I choose the pavilion perched high above the water, right at water's edge, or a secluded picnic table in the wooded areas next to the marsh, I am inspired.

My muse must live in the trees and play in the marsh grass. She rides the crows who steal my picnic lunch and laugh at me as I look perplexed.


If you are in the area, this is a great place to visit. Whether your idea of a perfect state park setting is socializing or solitude...physical activity or relaxing inactivity... this would be the place for you.The views are large and sweeping. The treasures in this park are many, from the very large to the very small, and you don't have to look real hard to find them.

A Few Helpful Links to Fill in the Gaps

My article was just a brief description of why I love Hammerman. These links will include some of the information that I didn't cover in-depth, information that may change, or things I didn't cover at all. There is so much to do and see at Hammerman that it really should have it's own book.

Would Love to Hear Your Thoughts About Maryland State Parks - Or, just stop and say hello.

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    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      It truly looks and sounds like a beautiful place to visit. We all need a haven for reprieve & restoration.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a beautiful place to write--so inspiring!

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 

      6 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I would love to visit this beautiful place.

    • JessicaLVine LM profile image

      JessicaLVine LM 

      6 years ago

      Hey. Nicely put together lens. :) I enjoy learning about different places.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What a pretty place and within a reasonable distance from here.

    • Susan Zutautas profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've often wondered where your profile picture was taken and now I know. What a beautiful spot. Congrats on your purple star!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You have osprey! I love watching them. Great article and congratulations on your purple star!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image


      6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Hammerman Area of Gunpowder Falls State Park sounds marvelous. Love your detailed descriptions. BTW, since the park is called Gunpowder Falls, is there a waterfall in the park? I've driven through Maryland many times, but have never visited the beaches or any state parks. It might be time to 'stop' for awhile next time I'm in the area and see some of these sights. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love that lens. The pictures particulary!

    • TerriCarr profile image


      6 years ago

      I am a fellow Maryland-er, (-ite?)...but I am about an hour away in Montgomery County. Only lived in this area about 2 years. I have yet to enjoy any of Maryland's beaches. Though I certainly do enjoy the abundance of deer sightings in my area. You have inspired me to get to the shore in the warmer weather.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 

      6 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Thanks for the tour and beautiful pictures of this place where you live and love to go.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your Bay looks to be the perfect place for reflection and inspiration.

    • DawnRae64 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      leahjsongs, those areas of Maryland are gorgeous too! I plan on doing some lenses of some of the areas closer to the PA line. I hope you are able to get to Hammerman, it's a really nice place to be.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      What a great writing lab! I live in southcentral PA and am now becoming more familiar with Maryland, mostly Frederick/Westminster/New Windsor so far. I'd like to make a day trip to this park now, thanks!

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 

      6 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Fun to go there with you in this lens. The photos really give us a feel of the area too. Lovely lens!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      What a lovely introduction to your neck of the woods and your "bay." I think it is a very beautiful place.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Looks like a really beautiful place!

    • DawnRae64 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @josietook: Thank you!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens!!

    • DawnRae64 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @candace-peters-crew: :) Thank you. Your family would probably love the kayak board rentals/lessons and things. Remind me to tell you about it in person... you guys might also like the other side, by the marina. Don't let me forget.

    • DawnRae64 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @mel-kav: Thank you! I's a very relaxing place to be.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens! I don't live too far from that area and this made me want to check it out! I really like your pictures too.

    • mel-kav profile image


      6 years ago

      Love this lens - and this park area. I love it especially on the off season when there aren't too many people around. It is a quiet and relaxing place to be. Excellent lens.

    • DawnRae64 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @MarathonRunning: :) Thank you for your kind comments.

    • DawnRae64 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Maryland, USA

      @TreasuresBrenda: It's a gorgeous state, geographically that's for sure. Thanks for visiting!

    • MarathonRunning profile image


      6 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Hello! This seems to be a very relaxed place, but full of life. Lovely story in company of some great pictures. You certainly show atmosphere and I can understand why you are so inspired by it. :)

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I've never been to Maryland but I'm sure I'd like it given its proximity to the ocean, which I cannot get enough of. (I live in landlocked Ontario, Canada.)


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