Google / Luke Hudson

A beach for treasure hunters in SoMD

By: David M Higgins II

St. Leonard, MD– Tucked away neatly on a 28-mile stretch of beach that houses Calvert Cliffs a hidden gem called Matoaka Beach Cabins that operated as Girl Scout Camp from 1924-1956. Connie and Larry Smith bought the 50-acre property in 1960 and have been renting the rustic cabins there since. In fact, that part of the cliffs on the beach is referred to as Smiths Cliffs.

While reading about Matoaka, I could not find how the name came about. The one name that kept popping up was Pocahontas, meaning “flower between two streams”. Her given name was Matoaka(according to several sources, she was also named Amonute and went by Matoaka). Matoaka is believed to have meant ” Bright stream between the hills “

Pocahontas was from the Tidewater area of Virginia and this could play into the naming of the area.

Google / Luke Hudson

The Calvert Cliff stretch of Calvert County is known for white, sandy beaches, and the towering cliffs that stretch for about 30 miles, from North Beach to Solomons Island. The sandy cliffs hold tons of fossils that come from the Miocene Epoch when Southern Maryland was once covered by a shallow ocean. Every year as the winter rages on and the seasons switch to Spring, the cliffs reveal a little more of their holdings.

The cabins themselves you can rent overnight starting at $125.00. Day beach access is $5.00

Google / Matoaka Beach Cabins

One of the most recognized finds on the beach is the shark’s tooth, and if your really lucky a Megalodon tooth.

The formation of the cliffs began around 22 million years ago, with the newest section being only 8 million years old.

The rough map above shows the Miocene Geologic Formations that run along the Calvert Cliffs.

Each Formation is layered on top of the other, with the youngest on top. However, these Miocene deposits are slightly tilted, gradually dipping toward the ground as one moves south, approximately 10 feet per mile (Gernant,1970,p.6).

This results in the Calvert Formation going completely underground around Scientists Cliffs, and the Choptank Formation going underground near Cove Point. Basically, what this means is the further south one goes, the younger the deposits get (almost like a time machine), as shown on the map.

St. Mary’s Formation is roughly 8 – 12 million years old.
Choptank Formation is roughly 12 – 18 million years old.
Calvert Formation is roughly 18 – 22 million years old.

You can check out more about the Matoaka Beach Cabins by visiting their website here.

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