Visitors to Assateague State Park have a new opportunity to learn about colonial life along Maryland's coast when they visit historic Rackliffe House. Rackliffe, overlooking Sinepuxent Bay, is a beautifully restored 18th-century coastal plantation house located at the end of Tom Patton Lane, just a half-mile hike from the Assateague Island Visitor Center.
The late Tom Patton, founding President of the Rackliffe House Trust, envisioned the House as a site for coastal heritage interpretation. The Trust, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Assateague State Park, has raised more than $800,000 for the restoration of Rackliffe House and the archeological investigation of the surrounding property. The Trust is now operating the structure and surrounding three acres of property as a Coastal Maryland Heritage Center. The plantation house is reportedly the only one of its kind and vintage in the Mid-Atlantic region that is open to the public.
The vast majority of the funds raised have been used to complete the restoration of the notable coastal Maryland colonial residence and attached kitchen wing. The Trust is currently working to complete the restoration of the historic milk house and construction of a Colonial-style outbuilding to house a fire suppression system. Funds are being raised to develop an interpretation and landscaping plan.
Rackliffe House is open to tours May - October on Tuesdays ad Thursdays.
Visitors may hike to Rackliffe House any day between dawn and dusk to view the House exterior and explore the grounds. Visitors are asked to park in the lot for the new Assateague Island Visitor Center and walk to the House along Tom Patton Lane. New hiking trails are being created by Assateague State Park that will offer a more scenic path to Rackliffe House.