Visitors enjoy Fort Smallwood Park in Pasadena, Maryland, on Saturday, June 3. Located where the Patapsco River meets the Chesapeake Bay, Fort Smallwood is home to the first county-owned public boat ramp and is one of only two public beaches in Anne Arundel County.
“My kids are learning so much by being here and by having this access,” said Keri Schorah of Pasadena, who was visiting Fort Smallwood Park with her family. “For these kids to get to play in the water and catch fish, that’s something they can’t do everywhere.”
The park’s namesake, Fort Smallwood, was built during the Spanish-American War to protect the entrance to Baltimore Harbor. It remained in use through 1928, when it was sold to the City of Baltimore for use as a city park and later transferred to the Anne Arundel County Park System in 2006. Several historical buildings still remain, including the barracks, although they are not open to the public.
Through boat ramps and public beaches like those at Fort Smallwood Park, Bay Program partners are working to increase public access to the Bay and its rivers, streams and creeks. In 2016, 24 new boat ramps, fishing piers and other public access sites were opened to the public, and since 2010, partners have met 44 percent of their goal to open 300 new sites by 2025.
Learn more about our partners’ efforts to connect residents to their local waterways.