Hunting for Fossils and Shark’s Teeth at Purse State Park

Hunting for Fossils and Shark’s Teeth at Purse State Park

Written By Moms with Tots Correspondent: Piper

We braved the recent mid-afternoon heat to catch Purse State Park at low tide, and was it ever worth it! The Potomac shoreline stretched as far as the eye could see in beautiful Nanjemoy, MD (approximately 40 minutes from Waldorf) and beach treasures were abundant. My daughter and her young friends built sand castles and examined the periwinkles, crab shells, and sea glass washed up onto the shore. The adults searched excitedly for shark’s teeth—and we found 3! We watched small crabs burrowing in the sand and found the longest worms any of us had ever seen.
There is plenty of room to set up beach chairs, and if you are fortunate enough to catch low tide in the morning, then you will also have plenty of shade. There was surprisingly little trash on the shoreline, and the coarse sand was soft enough to walk on, even with little feet. Many families were enjoying a stroll with their dogs, so consider bringing your pets!

We will most definitely be back soon—my daughter loved how easy it was to find seashells and driftwood, and is looking forward to creating another sand sculpture. I love that we can get the beach experience without having to battle summer crowds, long drives, and sharks 🙂

Tips for visiting Purse State Park

  • Be sure to check the tide chart before you head out. At high tide there is little to no beach available to explore, so plan to go at low tide. Tide schedules can be found here: (use Liverpool Point, MD as your location)
  • The pathway leading to the beach is definitely not stroller friendly. The last bit of path just as the river comes into view is very steep and some children as well as adults may need some help descending
  • There are no restrooms, but plenty of forest cover, so plan accordingly!
  • If using GPS, enter 10200 Riverside Rd (MD 224) Nanjemoy, MD. You will see a small hand-painted sign on your right, and there is a gravel parking area on your left.
  • Mallows Bay is just down the road—offering hiking, boating, and fishing opportunities. Check out the fleet of historic sunken ships and read up on the Ghost Fleet here:

Find More Information About
Purse State Park and other Maryland State Parks