Hart Miller Island is a 1100-acre island located in Baltimore County on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of Middle River. It is accessible only by personal boat. On May 7, 2016, the South Cell of the island was opened to the public for the first time since construction began on the island in 1981. This opened up 300 more acres of land for public access. We recently had the opportunity to explore the South Cell and had a blast riding bikes along the island's perimeter.

Hart and Miller were once two separate islands, and by 1858, more than 40 percent of Hart Island had eroded away, leaving only 70 acres. The Maryland Port Administration purchased what remained of Hart and Miller Islands in the late 1970s and began construction on a perimeter dike connecting the two in 1981. Hart Miller Island later began receiving dredged materials from Baltimore's Inner Harbor to build up the land to its current acreage. The final inflow of dredged material occurred in 2009.

Today, Hart Miller Island remains a popular destination for boaters in the Upper Bay, with features like a 3000 foot sandy beach, a campground, and now biking and hiking trails in the South Cell. The newly-opened section will be open and staffed Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It contains over eight miles of trails that circle around a large, beautiful pond and include breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay. The 1.8 mile long trail loop boasts interpretive signage about the various wildlife and different ecosystems that are a part  of Hart Miller Island.

Visitors can rent bikes (for free!) and will be able to take binoculars and bird guides to explore the many species of birds that migrate to the island, which has become well known for its abundant bird population. There are also many other plant, insect and wildlife species to encounter. Staff on the island will have light concessions for sale, such as sodas and snacks.

The island is only accessible by personal boat, so if you don't have a boat, make friends with someone who does! We highly recommend renting a bike to check out the south cell of the island. For much of the ride you have the Bay to one side of the trail and a large marshy, pond to the other. The views are breathtaking. To watch a drone video of the island click to proptalk.com/hart-miller-island-drone-video.