Finally exploring Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park


Here was my view from the end of the pier at Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park, on the Dorchester County side. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I have driven past Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park countless times. It’s right off Route 50, which I took every time I went home from Salisbury University, and continue to take whenever I go back “across the bridge” to visit my family or friends, or go to the Baltimore area.

It looked like it would be a cool place to run, but I guess I always had some reason not to stop there — I was on my way somewhere, or I was on my way back and just wanted to be home or it was dark.

Here’s what the pier looks like on the Dorchester County side of Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I’m glad I finally stopped there on Sunday. I had spent the morning volunteering at the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Cambridge, providing live photos from the course. While I did log about 7,000 steps on my Fitbit, I certainly wasn’t really exercising. But the heat was brutal, and I was getting exhausted just from being outside. It was crazy to think about the feat that the athletes were completing — a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and then a half marathon.

I left around noon. I knew I had to run at least a mile Sunday to keep up my run streak (read about that here). I’ve been getting a little bored of the same routes around my house, so I wanted to run somewhere in Cambridge where I wasn’t going to interfere with the people participating in the Eagleman event or get stuck in traffic.

I decided on the Bill Burton Fishing Pier, picking the Dorchester County side because that was the side I was on, and I, for some reason, thought both sides connected. Unlike the Dorchester County side, the Talbot County side also has trails, according to this page about the park that includes a map. I definitely want to check that side out sometime, too — it’s just on the other side of the Route 50 bridge crossing the Choptank River.

I parked my car and ran to the end of the pier, logging just more than a half-mile on my watch. I turned around and was at a little more than a mile when I returned to the beginning.

I saw this beach during my run. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I was considering my distance during the run, and thought about doing three miles, then maybe two instead. I decided to do three, thinking about the people who were competing in the Eagleman in this heat. When I left, there were still plenty of people starting their runs. If they could handle that, I could handle three miles in the heat.

There was a really nice breeze on the pier that helped it feel less hot. It got hotter as I neared the parking lot each time, because there was less of a breeze at that point.

It seemed like it would be a good place for speed work, because it’s flat, straight and breezy. It also wasn’t too crowded when I was there.

The park is easy to spot from Route 50. If you are coming from the east, the Dorchester County side of the park is on your right, right before the bridge that goes over the Choptank River; the opposite would be true if you are coming from the west.

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