We used to haul our bikes on a trunk-mounted bike rack, but we recently got rid of our car, which meant we had no way to carry our bikes—short of loading them in the back of the van.
Turkey Point Lighthouse
We drove to the Turkey Point Trailhead and rode our bikes to the Turkey Point Lighthouse. It's short enough to be an easy walk, if you prefer.
We were staying at the Elk Neck State Park campground, which is less than three miles from the trailhead. The road is narrow, so we opted to drive to the trailhead and just ride the trail. Be aware that as you near the trailhead, the road goes over a blind crest and suddenly the pavement ends, the road gets really rough and soon after you’re in the parking area.
We went in the morning because apparently it gets busy later on. As we were leaving, there was a park ranger on hand to direct traffic. If you get there before 10 AM like we did, you should be fine. There were only two other groups of people there when we were.
This is a pretty easy ride, just 0.8 miles from the trailhead to the lighthouse. The ride starts with a decent climb, but it’s flat after that. Once you are up on the hill, you can see the water of Chesapeake Bay. Exercise a little caution off-trail because the drop-offs (cliffs) are not blocked off. Most of the surface is hard-packed dirt, though there is a long straight section of gravel (some of it larger). But since it’s an open area, you can avoid the rocks by going just a bit off the main road. The park employees do drive up this trail, so it’s a two-track and wide enough for a car.
Not too far from the lighthouse is a bird watching area with a grassy path mowed into a meadow. On the way back I was ahead of Tammy, so I rode a quick loop round there, just to try out my bike on grass.
The lighthouse is a small one and it’s not open for a tour, but the grounds are pretty and, as is a requirement for a lighthouse, the view is great. Just before we headed back, a woman arrived and opened up a small shed, which must serve as an information center and possibly gift shop. We didn’t investigate that part.
Google Maps shows a loop, but we didn’t look too hard for it and simply returned the way we came. If you go to the lighthouse from the trail and look right, you’ll see the field narrows down to a point. That appears to be where the loop continues. It rejoins the trail in the open area for bird-watching.
It was a beautiful, if a little hot, day and although this is a short ride, we highly recommend it if you’re in the area.