Social distancing an easy feat at Somerset County's rural Janes Island State Park

Flat dirt road with pine needles on it next to a deep water ditch (at right), with trees.
Here’s one of the fire roads at Janes Island State Park. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

Feeling bummed and worried about the novel coronavirus and the uncertainty that comes along with it, I needed a change of scenery this week.

Of course, I wanted to be safe about it. So, I decided to finally check out a park I’ve been wanting to return to for a while — Janes Island State Park in Crisfield, Maryland.

I visited the park a while ago on a tourism trip to Somerset County. I think this was during my first year working for Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism — 2016. I learned there were trails there, and since then, I have been wanting to check them out.

Paved road with trees surrounding it at Janes Island State Park.
I ran on this road during my run at Janes Island State Park. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

On Tuesday, I finally did. It was easy to keep my six feet of space, and while I was there, I hardly saw anyone else — I think I saw seven people total, and I was there for more than an hour.

In the wooded area, there were two trails that went horizontally, with three flat, unpaved fire roads that crossed perpendicular to them. There weren’t a ton of markings, but there were kiosks with maps. I explored these trails, ran down the road to one end and ran on grass along the Little Annemessex River before heading back to the trails.

I saw cabins and a conference center, which I remembered seeing the inside of during the tourism visit. I also climbed an observation deck with a spiral staircase and checked out the view from there, snapping a few photos.

View of the water with some tall grasses sticking up in front and a blue sky.
Here’s a view of the Little Annemessex River at Janes Island State Park. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

I went there without any kind of goal pace, stopping often to take photos. I ended up running five miles, repeating some of where I’d run in an attempt to run both horizontal trails and the fire roads, plus other areas of the park. There are not an extensive amount of trails, but I enjoyed my visit.

There were some arrows that people could follow on the trails; otherwise, they were not marked with mile markers or anything like that. The fire roads were pretty much free of obstacles, except a small amount of mud, and the trails in between were not super technical but a little more so.

Selfie of Vanessa Junkin by the water and grass.
Since Tuesday was St. Patrick’s Day, I wore a shirt from the Shamrock Half Marathon. This was actually from my first half marathon, in 2011.

It was nice to connect with nature and get some fresh air as we all wonder what will happen with COVID-19. It was a beautiful day.

The park is about 40 minutes from Salisbury and has free admission. Learn more at the Department of Natural Resources website.

Wooded trail with trees.
Here’s a view from the woodsy part of the trail. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
View of tree in front of river, from above at observation tower.
This view is from the observation tower. (Vanessa Junkin photo)


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