Cana Island Brownie Jackson's Hotshot Crew Cadastral Survey Energy and Minerals
Eastern States
BLM>Eastern States>Lower Potomac Field Station>Douglas Point History
Print Page

Click here to learn more about how the BLM is working with State and local partners at Douglas Point, Maryland.

Douglas Point History

The Douglas Point Area lies in a lightly-populated area of southern Maryland in western Charles County. The remaining portions of this once agricultural and rural peninsula county are experiencing rapid growth due to expanding economic opportunities created by increased military and contractor presence and urban sprawl. In fact, southern Maryland is currently the fastest growing area in the State.

Visit the historic Chiles Homesite on the banks of the Potomac River.

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), Eastern States; the State of Maryland, Department of Natural Resources (DNR); the Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland (Charles County); and The Conservation Fund entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on December 13, 2000. This MOU was to establish a framework for cooperation to facilitate acquisition of an area along the Potomac River in the State of Maryland known as Douglas Point for the enjoyment of future generations. (View the MOU PDF, 2.3MB)

On December 21, 2001, BLM and the State of Maryland jointly acquired about 1,270 acres of land known as Douglas Point, lying along the Potomac River in Charles County. This area, one of the last remaining undeveloped tracts along the Potomac River, near fast-growing Washington, DC, offers outstanding potential for recreation, wildlife habitat, and cultural resources. The Douglas Point tract contains magnificent hardwood forests. Other unique resources in the general vicinity include the site of a Civil War encampment of approximately 25,000 troops; archeological sites; wildlife habitat for a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic species; and unique wetland, woodland, and aquatic habitat including evolving ecosystems at the Mallows Bay shipwrecks.

The first BLM designated Heritage National Scenic Trail segment in the east can be found in the recently acquired Douglas Point Special Recreation Management Area, part of the Nanjemoy Natural Resource Management Area, managed jointly by the BLM and the State of Maryland, Department of Natural Resources. The Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail BLM segment loops through the 540 acre Douglas Point property, and is open to all non-motorized travel. The highlights of the trail include the colonial era Chiles homesite, deer, wild turkey, numerous waterfowl and waterbirds, a diversity of coastal plain migratory song birds, and a mixed hardwood forest with a diversity of understory wildflowershere that is also a spur trail to a small beach and a Potomac river overlook at the north end of the property. This beach is also designated as a water stop for the State of Maryland water trail component of the PHNST.

For more information about the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, please visit