Geography of Anne Arundel County, Maryland

By | March 15, 2024

Anne Arundel County, located in the central part of the U.S. state of Maryland, is a region characterized by its diverse geography, rich history, and vibrant communities. Encompassing an area of approximately 588 square miles, Anne Arundel County is situated along the Chesapeake Bay and is known for its waterfront landscapes, historic landmarks, and thriving economy. In this comprehensive overview, we’ll explore the geography, climate, rivers, lakes, and other significant features of Anne Arundel County. Check homethodology to learn more about the state of Maryland.


Anne Arundel County is bordered by the Patapsco River and Baltimore County to the north, the Chesapeake Bay to the east, Calvert County to the south, and Prince George’s County to the west. The county’s geography is characterized by its diverse mix of urban, suburban, and rural areas, with a landscape that includes waterfronts, marshes, forests, and agricultural land. Annapolis, the state capital of Maryland, is located within Anne Arundel County and serves as the county seat.


The climate of Anne Arundel County is classified as humid subtropical, with four distinct seasons characterized by hot, humid summers and mild, relatively dry winters. The region experiences a wide range of temperatures throughout the year, with occasional extremes in temperature and weather patterns.

Summers in Anne Arundel County are typically hot and humid, with average high temperatures in the 80s°F to 90s°F range and frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Winters are mild, with average low temperatures in the 20s°F to 30s°F range and occasional snowfall. Spring and fall are transitional seasons, with mild temperatures and variable weather conditions.


Anne Arundel County is intersected by several rivers and streams that flow through its landscape, providing habitat for wildlife and opportunities for outdoor recreation. These rivers and streams also play a vital role in the region’s economy, providing transportation routes, recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty. Some of the notable rivers in Anne Arundel County include:

  1. Severn River: The Severn River flows through the heart of Anne Arundel County, originating near the town of Odenton and flowing southward to the Chesapeake Bay. The river is popular for boating, fishing, and water sports and is home to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
  2. South River: The South River flows through the southern part of Anne Arundel County, originating near the town of Davidsonville and flowing southeastward to the Chesapeake Bay. The river is known for its scenic beauty and provides opportunities for boating, fishing, and kayaking.
  3. Patuxent River: The Patuxent River forms the western boundary of Anne Arundel County, separating it from Prince George’s County. The river is an important waterway for transportation and commerce and offers opportunities for fishing, birdwatching, and wildlife viewing.

Chesapeake Bay:

Anne Arundel County is bordered by the Chesapeake Bay to the east, one of the largest estuaries in the United States and a vital ecosystem for aquatic life and migratory birds. The Chesapeake Bay provides opportunities for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, crabbing, and sailing, as well as scenic views of the water and surrounding landscapes.


While Anne Arundel County is primarily known for its rivers and the Chesapeake Bay, there are also several lakes and reservoirs within the county that offer opportunities for outdoor recreation and leisure. Some of the notable lakes in Anne Arundel County include:

  1. Lake Waterford: Lake Waterford is a man-made reservoir located in Pasadena, Anne Arundel County. The lake is popular for fishing, boating, and picnicking, as well as hiking and birdwatching along the trails surrounding the lake.
  2. Lake Ogleton: Lake Ogleton is a small tidal basin located near Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, adjacent to the Chesapeake Bay. The lake is popular for sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, as well as fishing for striped bass and other saltwater species.

Natural Areas:

Anne Arundel County is home to several natural areas and parks that showcase the region’s natural beauty and biodiversity. These parks offer opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, nature photography, and other outdoor activities. Some of the notable natural areas in Anne Arundel County include:

  1. Quiet Waters Park: Quiet Waters Park is located in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and features scenic trails, gardens, and waterfront views of the South River. The park offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking, kayaking, and paddleboarding, as well as cultural events and festivals throughout the year.
  2. Sandy Point State Park: Sandy Point State Park is located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, near the Bay Bridge, in Anne Arundel County. The park features sandy beaches, picnic areas, and fishing piers, as well as swimming, boating, and crabbing opportunities.


Agriculture plays a significant role in the economy of Anne Arundel County, with a focus on dairy farming, crop cultivation, and horse breeding. The county’s fertile soil, moderate climate, and proximity to urban markets make it ideal for agriculture, and farming has been a traditional way of life for many families in the region.


In conclusion, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, is a region of diverse geography, rich history, and vibrant communities. From its waterfront landscapes and historic landmarks to its scenic rivers and natural areas, the county offers a variety of attractions and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Whether you’re exploring the trails of Quiet Waters Park, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay, or enjoying the cultural amenities of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County has something for everyone to experience and enjoy in the great outdoors.