The Maryland Ice Cream Trail is an initiative of the Maryland Department of Agriculture to promote family owned and operated dairy farms in Maryland. Last year, I visited the farms in Northwest Maryland. This year, I was on Kent Island attending a local festival. I took the opportunity to visit the farms on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I ended up driving 100 miles for ice cream. But it was worth it.
Nice Farms Creamery – Federalsburg, MD
Nice Farms Creamery is located in Federalsburg, MD. It actually is not on this year’s (2022) ice cream trail, but it was on the trail last year and so I wanted to visit them. I don’t know why it wasn’t this year, but as the farm is a working farm with a tiny customer service area, I would guess that they are not equipped for the crowds.
Nice Farms also no longer has single servings of ice cream for sale. Only pints. I did see a sign for cups and cones of ice cream in a storage area; probably left over from last year. Their retail focus is now on selling milk products to consumers for home use; items such as whole milk, yogurt, and butter.
But I was there for ice cream. The flavors available were vanilla, chocolate, coffee latte, and mint chip. I went for the chocolate. Because there was no eating area, I had to wait until my next stop in order to try it. By that time, the ice cream had started to melt. But that made for an excellent soft serve. It was creamy and had a pronounced but not overpowering, chocolate taste. This is good ice cream. Highly recommended.
As I said above, Nice Farms is a working farm. There is no parking lot. I ended up parking right in front of the creamery. Farm animals and tractors are very close, so you have to be careful where you drive. I suspect most of their consumer business is home delivery. Nevertheless, there is a store front where you can buy products. It’s great to be able to buy direct from the farmer like this, as Ice cream does not come fresher that this.
Chesapeake Bay Dairy
Chesapeake Bay Dairy is in Pocomoke City MD at the southern tip of Maryland’s Eastern Shore (traveling further south on the peninsula takes you into Virginia). The Ice Cream Trail lists a second location in Berlin Maryland, not far from Ocean City, but I wanted to visit the farm itself so that is where I went.
It was a long drive for me to get there, so I arrived shortly before closing. Unfortunately, that meant that many of their flavors were sold out. That included their signature flavor: God Bless the Queen, a vanilla ice cream base with English toffee pieces & salted caramel swirled in.
On the front of the display case, 18 flavors were identified. This included 4 chocolate (Raspberry Chocolate, Bavarian Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut butter, and Chocolate Insanity), 7 fruit based (Strawberry Shortcake, Black Cherry, Lemon cookie, Orange Pineapple, Peach, Banana Pudding, and Key Lime Pie), and old standards such as French Vanilla, and Cookie Dough. Unique flavors worth pointing out are Cake Batta, Caramel Fudge, and Beans and Cream (coffee beans, espresso chocolate chips in espresso ice cream).
Being a chocoholic, I went with one of the four: the Chocolate Insanity. To balance it out, I got a second scoop with Strawberry Shortcake. Chocolate Insanity consisted of chocolate ice cream with brownie bits, chocolate chips, and a fudge swirl mixed in. Unfortunately, I literally got the bottom of the barrel as this flavor was almost sold out. Consequently, the ice cream was a bit icy and wasn’t very good. I expect if I was there earlier, I would not have had this problem.
The Strawberry Shortcake ice cream, on the other hand, had none of those problems. The ice cream was smooth and creamy, had a mild strawberry taste, and big chunks of strawberries were mixed in. It was great.
In addition to ice cream, the Chesapeake Bay Dairy has several milk products and jars of fruit preserves for sale. The milk products are mainly cheese, in block or curd form, and butter. Maryland fans take note, they have Old Bay cheese.
Chesapeake Bay Dairy’s retail space is located right next to their farm and the seating area is close to where the cows are grazing. They go all in on the cow theme with the ceiling decorated with cow imagery and having cow shaped benches all over the lawn. There are copious amounts of wooden picnic tables on the property, providing plenty of space to eat. All in all, the location is fantastic and the scenery is phenomenal.
Ice Cream on the Easter Shore
Both Nice Farms and Chesapeake Bay Creamery are much more rural than the other places of the Ice Cream Trail that I have been to. I find that adds to the charm, and it is educational to see other parts of Maryland. Plus it is good to support local farmers. Being on the trail is certainly a big boost to their finances.