Tolchester Beach, Maryland, Sea Glass

by Carol Cook
(Damascus, Maryland, East Coast United States)

Tolchester Beach Glass

Tolchester Beach Glass

> > Tolchester Beach, Maryland

Tolchester Beach, Maryland, USA

July 2, 2017

My first time looking for sea glass outside the Caribbean - wasn't sure what I'd find. 

I dug in, along, and under large pieces of rock and broken concrete to find these glass pieces as well as some great stones. 

I entered at the public area past the "Road Closed" sign and walked/hopped between pieces of the broken concrete boat ramp. 

Please be careful, there are many loose and wobbly pieces. 

You will find sea glass there but you must really dig around through the stones, sand and dirt.  There aren't many places to perch yourself, but it can be done.

I was happy to find the larger pieces and thrilled to uncover some orange/amber pieces.

~ sea glass beach report Carol Cook, Damascus, MD USA


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Comments for Tolchester Beach, Maryland, Sea Glass

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Dec 23, 2016
by: Anonymous

The beach is accessible by kayak. It is also accessible by climbing over the rocks at the dead-end.

The Marina is private and they do not like you parking there.

The beach is a public beach up to the high water mark. This is generally true everywhere. You just need permission to cross private property if there is no direct public access... or go by kayak.

Feb 21, 2016
No Public Access
by: Anonymous

My husband and I just started collecting sea glass and after finding this website and reading other posts decided to visit Tolchester Beach on an unusually mild day on January 7, 2016.

The marina has tall chain link fence all around it with a gate and a sign that says private and members only.

I'm not sure how other people have gained access unless maybe the gate was open during the season and they just got lucky and went in and parked unnoticed?

We did climb on the rocky area at the end of the road outside the marina where there are large chunks of concrete and some debris, it is somewhat precarious, we looked between the rocks near the shore and found a few pieces of sea glass but they weren't very smooth or worn.

Sep 08, 2015
Public use of Maryland Beaches
by: Anonymous

Public use of beaches, I read where people are not allowed to venture along the beach in front of homes, but that doesn't make sense based in the use of public lands in Maryland.

If you enter at the marina and walk the public beach and continue on to th area in front of private homes below the high tide mark in the wet sand area you can venture anywhere up and down the beach.

Sure they don't want you in their neighborhood parking your car on their street and cutting through to get to the beach but they can't stop you from traversing the beach once on it from a public entrance.

The challenge occurs if the homeowner has erected rock walls for erosion control or piers which are unpassable.

tolchester beach glass access

I found the above graphic on the following site:

I could be wrong but this has been my understanding for all of the coasts of the U.S.

Aug 28, 2015
Private beach or not?
by: Jane

After reading all of the reviews on here, I took the trip to the Tolchester Beach at the marina, and after just a few minutes of arriving, was told it was a private beach and marina for members only.

So I'm confused as to where everyone on here just walked onto the beach.

Jul 15, 2015
Ice Man
by: Ted Dashiell

I was the last person to deliver the thuck load of ice to Tolchester in the summer of 1961 - every dog-gone day. Lots of work and very little pay. At the close of the summer, I belive that my total net was about $15. Had to leave Rock Hall to get educated and better work.

May 21, 2015
by: Momcat

I've always searched for sea glass, but no luck in over 5 decades.

I live between Baltimore and DC, and was looking for a beach on the bay to day-trip to. I found the Odyssey sea glass website by accident, and as soon as I read about Tolchester's rewards as good hunting grounds, I knew my trip was set! We had had thunderstorms every evening for the 2 previous evenings, so I was hoping they were good for stiring treasures up. A lunch and cooler was packed.

I researched the tides; low tide yesterday (May 20, 2015) at the marina was set for 4:16pm. I arrived about 2pm. It took about 2 hours to get to Tolchester from my home. Weather was 70 degrees, sunny, winds 10-15 mph.

First, I drove to the end of the street the marina is on, to the old boat launch. It is (now?) full of construction debris to block access - huge 3'x3' chunks of used concrete, old chimney chunks, rusty rebar,etc. I was unsure if these were the "rocks" previous mentioned. I carefully climbed out on them, peering between the rocks for glass, but didn't see anything. It was too precarious to perch there, and there was no exposed shoreline, so I ditched that effort.

I drove into the marina, and around to the snack shack. Groundsmen were buzzing all over the place, planting and painting in preparation for this weekend's grand opening of Maryland's beach season.

I parked between the pool/sun deck/snack bar and the heads, and walked out on to the curving beach. I was approaching the experience like I did my trip to Yellowstone National Park, telling myself to not expect to spot anything just because my presence graced the spot.

Ducks are nesting this time of year, and ducklings hatching daily, so I stayed clear of Momma & Daddy mallard pairs eyeing me nervously from the rocks.

Long story short, sea glass wanted to be found, and found quickly! There was alot of fresh seaweed washed up at the water line, and that held some treasures too. I found clear, white, browns, green, and surprisingly turquoise glass! A few wild-colored quartz rocks, and some terra cotta chips made their way into my bag. Chips were about quarter-sized and smaller.

I haven't been able to think about anything except my next trip back! I definately would not go on a summer weekend, as the beach is not that big and only holds so many bodies. If I go again this summer, it would be on a chilly, cloudy weekday. I do have photos, but not figuring out how to submit them here yet:)

Jul 16, 2014
A Great Resource -- well-researched; engagingly written
by: Sharon Hadary

Backroads & Byways of Chesapeake Bay: Drives, Day Trips & Weekend Excursions

"...filled with fascinating tidbits of history and eloquent descriptions of the various locations -- you can almost smell the breezes off the water and feel the sunshine." 

Jul 14, 2014
As good as you make it...July 2014
by: Kelly and Lynn

We live in Annapolis and started heading to Tolchester Beach after a disappointing day in Rock Hall.

We began going in early May and go about twice a week (about an hour 1/4 drive for us). We have never been disappointed.

We do mostly find clear/white, green and brown...a few cobalts and aqua/lt blues....and so far one small red and a small yellow.

That's about 6 trips and about 2-4 hours spent there each time.

We easily find 15-20 pieces an hour...many are small (around dime to nickel sized) with an occasional quarter sized or larger.

This beach is what you make it...there are many, many rocks need to comb through them, even at the water line. The glass is not going to jump up into your bag all by itself! Haha!

Look through the access beach, way away from the water as well. It seems that they dredge or "drag" sand back up over the beach away from the waters edge, so glass can get deposited anywhere.

If you work at it (like any hobby) you'll do great. Early morning or weekdays is best; weekends in the Summer is very competitive. My advice, wait until after Labor day to make the trip :)

Happy Hunting

PS, if you do decide to make the trip on a weekend, the marina has a small outdoor bar that makes great burgers and crab cake sandwiches to get your "searching" energy back! :)

Jul 19, 2013
Yes, Marina Beach is Open
by: Susan

Hello Dawn, To answer your question, yes, the Tolchester Marina beach is open to public.

I've been going there for three years to collect sea glass and have never had a problem.

The marina has a website if you want to see photos of the marina complex and beach (

I have not attempted to venture on to the beach to the north where there are private homes.

Other places to search for sea glass are about an hour south of Tolchester on Kent Island -- Matapeake Beach and the beach at Terrapin Nature Park. Matapeake is south of the Bay Bridge and Terrapin is just north of the Bay Bridge.

There is also a small beach at the town of Rock Hall near Tolchester. I haven't tried that one yet although I have heard you can find sea glass there.

Good luck!

Jul 18, 2013
Marina beach is public, right?
by: Dawn

So, if I am understanding these comments, the beach at the marina only is public. It's just the beaches beyond the marina that are private, yes?

And, are there set hours that the beach is open? Like dawn to dusk or is it open 24 hours?

Jul 17, 2013
Lovely small beach with sea glass
by: Susan

I spent a wonderful hour here Tuesday, had the beach all to myself and found about 20 pieces of sea glass including one small oblong piece of lavender (rare color) and a piece of pottery with a design on it.

I would have kept looking, but it got too hot out.

Jul 04, 2013
o remember
by: anne

i keep telling my grandchildren about the good times i had as a kid at Tolchester, about the boat ride and the picnic and the activity and then i got on the computer and typed in its name and low and behold those years have come back. now i am going to find out the price and take my grandkids with me.

Sep 19, 2010
Great finds
by: Leslie

Went back to Tolchester after Hurricane Earl passed and hit the motherload.

While I was later than most of the people there I still got a lot of seaglass but small pieces.

You really do have to get here early.

Aug 29, 2010
by: Linda

The comment that I left previously was indeed about the beach by the marina... I have not found another way to get to any other beach nearby as it is all privately owned.

A few miles south there is a small beach near Rock Hall. I did find some glass there in the winter, nothing like Tolchester though.

Good luck!

Aug 16, 2010
Tolchester Beach Sea Glass
by: Anonymous

I drove 2 hours to this beach based on the recommendation of this website to find this is a private community and I was politely told outsiders were not welcome on the beach.

I did park down by the marina and was able to go on a small beach near a snack shack and found about 5 pieces in 20 minutes.

I am curious as to how others were able to get on the beach without being a resident.

Jul 13, 2010
Tolchester at low tide
by: Linda

I visited Tolchester today... and filled a snack ziplock baggie with glass and pottery in 90 minutes.

Even though I wasn't able to get there early, I checked the charts and went at low tide.

There wasn't another person there the whole time.

Lots of white, green, pale aqua and brown.

Even a couple of tiny colbalt pieces. I threw back a lot that weren't ready.

Make sure you check under the driftwood / seaweed piles at the higher tide lines, there was a lot underneath just waiting to be found!

Jun 14, 2010
Tolchester Beach
by: David Weber

Sorry to hear that anita....Perhaps it is because I take extended stays at my grandfathers boat, and have the opportunity to wake up at 5am to get all overnight sea glass (as well as hit the low tides).

I must also be known that MANY people in the Marina collect sea glass, and if you are not the first to it, then, yes, you will not find much (by the afternoon, most of it is gone).

Melinda and Anonymous, great sounding hauls.

I have never found yellow, but I will keep trying.

I have found 2 small reds, a small black, a deep purple, a pink, and a piece of flashed glass from, as well as many Uncommons (like blues and opaque whites)from Tolchester Beach.

My Advice: Have times, and be diligent!

Jun 07, 2010
Sea glass on Tolchester
by: Melinda

I recently made two trips to Tolchester Beach, both within the last two weeks; I have found sea glass in milky white, 1 aqua blue (!), clear with white swirls, pink, pale yellow, some bright greens and also some grays.

I am a sucker for pottery shards, and I found more than enough of those as well!

Aug 09, 2009
Found Loads of Glass
by: Anonymous

In about 15 minutes I found 20 excellent pieces of seaglass.

After a day I found a Ziploc baggie full, including Olive Green, Yellow, Aqua and Dark Blue.

The best places are at either end of the beach. Get yourself a piece of wood and comb through the pebbles.

Jul 22, 2009
by: anita

thank you david I will check with you before I go to another beach

Jul 20, 2009
no beach glass
by: anita

I drove two hours to get to this beach and I found 2 or 3 little pieces of glass in about an hour.

I don't know what you consider allot of beach glass but it was a wasted trip, went home and found a handful on my beach.

I would not recommend this beach.

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