On the edge of the Chesapeake Bay lies a summer-time wonderland reclaimed by nature to provide a beautiful state park. Janes Island State Park was originally created in 1963 and from 1965 to 1978 it underwent restorative procedures to revert the island to what it used to look like before human contact. The park is now protected by the state of Maryland, with a continuous effort to minimize the pollution of the island.
The scenery at this park is well worth a trip in the RV. The park sits perfectly at zero elevation, providing a unique ecosystem with the majority of the park being marshland. In the marshland, there is a seven-mile kayak trail that takes you along the white sandy beaches. There are over 30 miles of water trails throughout the park of varying lengths. You can either rent a canoe or kayak at the park store or bring your own. The water trails also accommodate paddleboards. The park’s unique ecosystem is great for catching crabs and fishing near the pier and in the marshland.
There are 100 sites for RV camping. While there are no sewer hookups, the park does provide a dump station along with 30 amp electric hookups. The park is open year-round with various activities like birding, picnicking, fishing, and swimming. Janes Island State Park offers 2,700 acres of marshland to discover and enjoy the great outdoors. In the summer, the muggy weather makes a great habitat for bugs, so bringing your bug repellant is recommended. The winter and fall months offer a much cooler and relaxing atmosphere for the weary traveler. You’ll be guaranteed a great time whenever you visit Jane’s Island State Park in your RV.
RV Rentals in Janes Island State Park
Transportation in Janes Island State Park
Jane’s Island State Park is located just minutes from the Chesapeake Bay, two hours from Virginia Beach, and only a few minutes from Crisfield Municipal Airport. Route 413 is 13 miles from the entrance of the park. The roads leading to the park are leveled and provide good signs to direct you where you need to go. With the Chesapeake Bay just minutes away, you can tour the historic center and buy souvenirs for your family and friends. It’s relatively easy to stock up on groceries and bug spray for your summer getaway.
If you own a canoe or kayak, it would be wise to bring it along to explore the water trails. It is recommended that you walk or ride your bike around the park for the best experience. After all, if you try to come during the peak season, the roads and parking lots can be crowded, especially for an RV. You can get a map of the park in the park store and a birding checklist as well. If parts of the park are under construction, there will be a notice and detours leading you to the appropriate campsite. The campsites are mostly gravel or concrete, which helps to prevent puddles from forming during the rainy season. If there is inclement weather, the park may close to protect visitors from getting caught in the rough waves. If the wind speed is above 10 miles per hour, there will be an advisory for all water trails.
Campgrounds and parking in Janes Island State Park
Campsites in Janes Island State Park
Loop C Campground
Loop C Campground provides fully shaded lots with plenty of space for your rig and privacy. Just like the other campgrounds, Loop C can fit a trailer or RV that’s up to 45 feet in length. Only a few sites have electricity and there are no water or sewer hookups. There is a dump station and the park does provide areas where you can get water. There are several drinking fountains and dumpsters throughout the loop. Amenities include a lantern post, fire ring, hot showers, restrooms, picnic table, and laundry machines for a small cost. You are prohibited from bringing your own firewood but are able to get some from the staff. If you plan to go into town often this is a lovely place to camp because it leads right back to Canal Road which goes right into the heart of downtown. There are 35 spots available for reservation but you should reserve early to make sure that you are able to get a spot. You can only stay a limit of 14 days at a time and can register up to 11 months in advance.
Loop B Campground
Loop B Campground provides 40 lots, all of which are spacious and shaded for your comfort. They can fit a max of a 45-foot trailer or RV. Only a few sites have electricity and there are no water or sewer hookups. There is a dump station and the park does provide areas where you can get water. This campground has one site reserved for those who have a disability. Amenities include a lantern post, fire ring, hot showers, restrooms, picnic table, and laundry machines for a small cost. You are prohibited from bringing your own firewood but are able to get some from the staff. The lots are leveled and you have plenty of privacy from your neighbor. This loop is rather close to the Daughtery Creek Canal, so there is a possibility of flooding in inclement weather, but it is a great spot for those who plan to launch their boats from this area. You may stay a max of 14 days at a time and may register up to 11 months in advance.
Loop A Campground
The Loop A Campground provides shaded lots with plenty of space. They can accommodate RVs up to 45 feet in length, but keep in mind that there are a limited number of sites with electric hookups, and no water or sewer hookups are available. There is a dump station and the park does provide areas where you can get water. Amenities include a lantern post, fire ring, hot showers, restrooms, picnic table, and pay laundry machines. You are prohibited from bringing your own firewood but are able to get some from the staff. The lots are leveled and you have plenty of privacy from your neighbor. If you wish to walk around this loop, you may need to bring a map with you in order to find your way back to your site. There are 15 spots available for reservation. You may stay a limit of 14 days at a time and can register up to 11 months in advance.
There are no first-come, first-served camping options at this state park.
Seasonal activities in Janes Island State Park
If you are towing your boat behind your rig this state park is the perfect destination for you. The waterways around the park provide the perfect place to go boating. Janes Island State Park also provides areas to dock your boat. You must bring along the correct license and registration for your boat. While the park does not offer boat rentals, there are a few businesses that offer boat rentals and boat tours along the Chesapeake Bay. For a small price, you can even see the landing place of some of the first pilgrims to the area.
The marshlands provide a wonderful environment to catch crabs. You will need a net, water boots if you plan to get in the water or muddy areas, and a bucket or large container to put your crabs in. Crab season does not last all year, but you can still catch some delicious blue crabs when the time is right for them. If you plan to eat your catch the same day, be sure to clean it properly. A bit of salt in a pot of boiling water can do wonders to the flavor.
While swimming is a great way to beat the heat if you want to swim at this state park you can't get there by RV. Swimming is only allowed in the Tangier Sound area, and that side is only accessible by boat. You will need to be responsible for your own safety due to the beach being unguarded. If you plan to go swimming, remember to never go alone and make it a fun trip by bringing a few people along with you. The summers are very humid and muggy, so bringing along food and water would be a good option as well.
Paddling Water Trails
If you want to get out of the camper and onto the water Janes Island State Park offers a scenic setting to do just that. There are over 30 miles of water trails that you can explore in your kayak or canoe. The park also provides guided tours along some of the water trails. You can pick up a map of the trails at the park store and rent a kayak or canoe if you don’t have one. Remember to wear your life jacket when on the water and follow the safety rules for the best time. You can take one of the trails to the Chesapeake Bay, but be sure to remember where you parked your ride.
You can take your motorboat on the water to catch striped bass, trout, flounder, and bluefish. You do not need a license to fish from the piers or your own boat. There are a few shops in town that sell bait and rods if you need them. Fishing in the park is available all year and you can dock your boat in the docks while you camp in the park. Some of the park staff will be able to tell you the best fishing spots and where your hook may get caught on weeds rather than fish.
The island provides a lovely habitat for shorebirds, migratory waterfowl, egrets, and brown pelicans. Over 400 species of birds call Maryland home year-round. 222 of these have been known to nest in the state on various occasions. You can spot different birds along the shoreline and the water trails as you go. Many of the trails offer prime habitat for the egrets, loons and other water birds. Remember to bring your binoculars and pack a sturdy pair of walking boots if you plan to do a day of birding.