Ocean City, Maryland has always felt magical to me. It is a joy to savor the smell of the Atlantic Ocean, the sound of crashing waves, and the breeze that tickles my shoulders as I soak up the sun. There are, however, some towns outside of Ocean City that are a little extra whimsy. You’ll find one of them right off the barrier island, located in Veterans Memorial Park, near the entrance to Ocean Pines.
This peaceful path leads to awe inspiring views of Ocean Pines South Gate Pond. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily activities and there are several benches available for you to sit and relax while looking at birds and other wildlife. This walking path will also lead you directly into Ocean Pines Fairy Woods.
The Enchanted Path Entrance
The first step to meeting the fairies is entering the Ocean Pines Sports Core Pool Parking lot or Veterans Memorial Park, right off Route 589. Click For Directions.
The flat walking trail is .76 miles in length and may only take 20 minutes to walk. However, if you intend to spend time at the Veterans Memorial and explore the Ocean Pines Fairy Forrest, allow at least two hours to let your imagination run wild.
On the inside of the trail, closest to the Ocean Pines South Gate entrance, you’ll find an enchanted dense forrest full of tall pine trees to your right. This is where the gnomes and fairies live! Keep your eyes peeled for the sneaky ones. Many single gnomes are hidden between trees and under leaves, so walk mindfully.
The best indication that you’ve arrived is seeing children eagerly crouching and scurrying about to prepare a home for the fairies. My first reaction on seeing the colorful and adorable gnomes was to squeal with delight! There are what seemed like hundreds of these magical creatures, tucked away under the pine trees.
Most gnome homes are close to the ground. They come in all shapes and sizes and are made of a variety of materials. Several had waterfront views, others looked out over the main drag, some were in the middle of decorating for the holiday, and others enjoy fishing.
While I was there, I worked on repairing the little houses that had been damaged by the wind and did some minor lawn work as well.
Ocean Pines Fairy Woods History
The first gnome home popped up in early 2020. According to the Ocean Pines Association, two local women (who preferred to remain anonymous) who have been walking the trail for years wanted to put a smile on people’s faces during a difficult time. A tree with a large hole in the trunk that could have served as a wonderful animal home always caught their attention as they walked around the pond. However, no animals had taken residence, so they made a home for the gnomes. They gathered two gnomes, a bench, moss, and a fence and placed them in a place where others could enjoy seeing while walking the .76 mile trail.
Leaving Your Own Gnomes
Since then, dozens of families have gotten involved in the fun creating a gnome and fairy wonderland. My nieces have even joined in the fun and donated a gnome home for the trail, in the spirit of creativity and community fun.
If you are looking for something magical, yet simple to do with your kids – add this to your list of places to explore this season.
And when you’re finished top it off with a Snow Ball! Across the highway from the enchanted woods, treat yourself to a Hot Cocoa Snowball, topped with marshmallow and chocolate chips at the Snowball Stand. If your taste buds are anything like mine, you’re going to flip.
A Closer Look At Ocean Pines Fairy Woods
Blue and Red-capped gnomes, a mushroom cottage, a friendly fox, sprouting flowers, sea glass, and a table set for tea add elements of whimsey throughout the Fairy Woods. Charming creatures abound and surprises await around every turn!