International Beachcombing Conference   2013

Beachcombing Opportunities

Beachcombing opportunities abound along the Delaware Bay as well as in the mid-Atlantic region.  Here are some possible beaches to check out while traveling to or from the Conference.

DELAWARE
Cape Henlopen State Park; Lewes, Delaware
Open year round. $8 car charge ($4 for Delaware residents) from May 1- Oct. 31

Shells, Driftwood Sea Glass, Ship Wreck Stuff
The coasts of Delaware Ocean, Bay, and River share many hidden historical secrets in their waves and dunes. Hundreds of years of merchant shipwrecks, maritime wars, and pirate seizures occurred off their shores and now, hundreds of years later, pieces of eight, shards of Chinese Export pottery, and emerald-encrusted ballast have sometimes appeared on their shores.

Cape Henlopen remains a beautiful stretch of beach on this coast. Wedged between Lewes and Rehobeth Beach, it's a fun place to try your luck at treasure hunting and, as you stroll along, note the eerily fascinating WWII observation towers rising from the sand. If you feel really energetic, wander down the beach a stretch to the calmer shores of Lewes Beach for sea glass or visit nearby Roosevelt Inlet in search of old ceramic pieces.


MARYLAND
Calvert Cliffs
; Calvert County, MD
Year-round $5/vehicle; out-of-state residents $6/vehicle

Fossils
Located in Lusby, Maryland, Calvert Cliffs is a two mile hike back in time (and I mean "BACK" as in 10 million to 25 million years in time) to a site on the Bay where Miocene period fossils, including fragments of huge scallop and snail shells as well as shark and skate teeth (delete comma) wash in or are exposed with the changing tides. Because of constant erosion, access to the cliffs is not permitted so head to the beach or wait until very low tide for exploring. Best times to go are when the tides are out due to strong winds. In colder months, wear boots and wade out to the flats to see what's poking up in the sand.

Point Lookout State Park; St. Mary's County, MD
Weekends and holidays (May-September) $5 per person; out-of-state residents $6 per person. All other times $3 per vehicle; out-of-state residents $4 per vehicle.

Artifacts, Shells, Beach Glass
Located in St. Mary's County in southern Maryland, Point Lookout State Park is a peninsula of land nestled between the lower Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Once a Civil War prison camp for captured confederate soldiers, the peninsula has miles of wonderful beaches to roam as well as a Civil War Museum that your can visit to acquaint yourself with the Park's history and the types of artifacts (that can be)-delete found there.

Captain John Smith explored the Point in 1612. Later, as an American outpost, the land parcel was the subject of British raids during both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. During the Civil War, Hammond Hospital was erected to treat wounded Union soldiers but after the Battle of Gettysburg, Confederate soldiers were sent there for incarceration. Although most of the Civil War facilities lie under the water today, artifacts still occasionally wash up on the beach along with shells and beach glass.

Jane's Island State Park; Crisfield, MD
No fees charged for swimming and beachcombing.

Artifacts, Shells, Beach Glass, Driftwood
At Jane's Island State Park, you can stroll along five miles of uninhabited shoreline at Flat Cap Beach. Located on the Chesapeake Bay’s eastern shore near Crisfield, human activity on the island dates as far back as 1000 BC from Native American war and trading activities, followed by European and colonial settlements, maritime shipwrecks, Victorian resorts, and 20th century seafood industries. Try your luck at finding arrowheads and point fragments, pottery shards, beach glass, and shells.

MARYLAND and VIRGINIA
Assateague Island National Seashore: Berlin, Maryland and Chincoteague, Virginia
Memorial Day-Labor Day $3/person; out-of-state residents $4/person
Check for other fees at http://www.nps.gov/asis/

Shells, Sea Glass, Driftwood, Pirate Booty
There are two entrances to the famous barrier island, Assateague. One entrance is located eight miles south of Ocean City, MD and the other is over the causeway from Virginia's charming Chincoteague Island. Miles and miles of pristine shoreline await you while inland, wild ponies and deer graze. The park offers campgrounds in summer at reasonable rates.