With the summer underway, a lot of us find ourselves enjoying all that Annapolis has to offer with its number of scenic waterways, outdoor restaurants, and water cruises available nearby. The days are long (and if we are lucky, sunny) and the great thing is that the Dog Beach at Quiet Waters Park gives us pet owners a fantastic water activity option for our furry family members.
Quiet Waters Park is a sprawling 340 acres of lush parkland that is bounded by the South River and the smaller creeks or ponds that offer sheltered waterways that run the perimeter of the park. Inside the vast parkland are a number of amenities including a boat launch, boat and paddle board rentals, rentable banquet hall, concert stage, multiple rentable picnic pavilions, a plethora of trails, a dog park, and the popular dog beach. Quiet Waters Park is open 7 days a week from 7 am until dusk. Park entry is $6 per car or annual permits can be purchased (ranging from $30-40). Annual permits gain you entry into Fort Smallwood Park, Downs Park, and Kinder Farm Park for the year.
Upon entry into the park, you can immediately enjoy the idyllic and serene grounds that make up this tranquil area that many people have come to enjoy. To reach the Dog Beach, you’ll follow the roadways to the south end of the park. You’ll pass by a few picnic pavilions, the Blue Heron Center, and the concert stage. You might have the opportunity to witness a wedding, family photo shoot, a family picnic, or one of the many events that are hosted by local organizations. Just past the Dog Park (there’s a big dog park and a small dog park next to each other), you’ll see a final parking lot right before you hit a roundabout. Park there for the closest parking lot to the Dog Beach. If your pup doesn’t pick up the smells of his future friends by now, you might hear the happy barks of those at the Dog Beach echoing off of the water.
There is a trail that runs leads you down to the Dog Beach with two options. Head straight on the path that will lead you to an overlook with stunning views of the South River. Taking this direct path with walk you by two gazebos, an overlook pavilion, and a staircase that will lead you down to a pathway to the Dog Beach. Or, if stairs aren’t your (or your dog’s thing), you can veer off to the right at the beginning of the trail to take a bit longer, and stair-free pathway around to the pathway. Also, it’s keen to mention that there are dog waste stations along the way and there is a doggy rinse off station near the parking lot along with public (human) restrooms.
The Dog Beach is sheltered by the barriers of Loden Pond, offering a calm beach free of breaking waves and excessive debris. Dogs of any size are welcome and there are a number of tennis balls that are open for anyone to play with. Some owners choose to bring life vests for their pups but they’re not required. The Dog Beach is sizable with enough space for even the most experienced swimmers to get in some great exercise and play. A sandy beach area is also open for the entire family to grab a seat and watch their pup frolic with his or her new friends. Definitely bring some fresh water in the car for your pup and a towel or two to dry them off. They’ll be so happy that the wet dog smell won’t even bother you that much on the way home.