Jefferson Patterson Park RITES Trail Exhibits & Playground

Cultural, Historic, Historic

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The improvement and extension of the RITES trail at Maryland’s 560-acre state park and museum located along the Patuxent River in St. Leonard, Calvert County. Interpretive exhibits, site restoration, and a new playground enhances the visitor’s experience and preserves this important historic resource. 

This fully accessible 1/4-mile loop trails meanders through fields to the Patuxent River telling the stories of Native, Colonial, African American and contemporary settlement. In addition to this trailhead, destinations along the way include a classroom/ picnic pavilion, replicated Woodland Indian Village, a boardwalk with overlook of the Patuxent River and Flood Plain Forest habitats.

Kings Reach— an interpretive archeology experience of a late 17th- and early 18th century tobacco plantation mapped by Captain John Smith in 1612.  In the 1980s, the Lab’s archeologists revealed artifacts in thirteen underground pits piecing together Kings Reach’s rich history. A gun barrel and ornate bridle decoration attest to the owner’s wealth. Handmade and imported pipes corroborate English servants’ transformation from indenture to freedom. And two ceramic blue beads hint at African American slave presence. The pit diagrams atop an accurate re-creation of the plantation's footprint provide the framework interpretation. Today, visitors discover the archeologists' findings and and enjoy Kings Reach as a trail destination. 


Design Team: Steve Ziger; Miharu Morimoto

Team: Mahan Rykiel - Landscape Architect; WRA - Civil Engineer; C&G Partners - Experience Design; Mark Stutzman - Illustrator; Exhibitology - Exhibit Fabricator; S.E. Davis - General Contractor

Location: St. Leonard, Maryland

Owner: Maryland Department of General Services; Maryland State Parks' Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum; Maryland Archeological Conservation Lab

Area: 1 Acre Site Development

Completion: 2020

Photography: HalkinMason