(Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline counties)
The northern part of Maryland’s Eastern Shore is characterized by the variety of its geography. The landscape is predominately rural with expanses of agricultural and forest lands. There are hundreds of tidal streams, creeks and rivers which all flow to the Chesapeake Bay. The shoreline along the northern Eastern Shore counties is varied and visitors can see steep cliffs and high bluffs give way to streamside forests, wetlands and marsh areas or low lying sandy beaches in most areas. This region features the most shoreline and points of public waterway access sites, of any region in the state thanks to the hundreds of coves, bays, rivers and islands that are found here.
Kent Island Water Trails – Queen Anne’s County was developed through a partnership between Maryland DNR and Queen Anne’s County. Released in summer 2010, the waterproof map and guide details six different water trails in the Kent Island area. The trails provide a wide variety of paddling experiences so there are options for all levels of expertise. Also included is information on the fees and regulations required to access the county’s public landings and boat ramps, GPS locations, and amenities at each access point. While the detailed trails range in length from 1.25 to 3.6 miles, the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay, Chester River, Eastern Bay and Prospect Bay offer endless opportunities for more experienced paddlers. Copies of the map and guide are available through the Queen Anne’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information call 410-758-0835 or visit www.parksnrec.org.
Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge is located at the confluence of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. This 2,285-acre island refuge is a major feeding and resting place for migrating and wintering waterfowl. A 10-mile long, water trail starts at Bogle’s Wharf and circles the entire Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge and connects scenic, historic and wetland restoration sites located around the island. The trail consists of seven points of interest including island loss, wetland restoration, historical locations, submerged aquatic vegetation beds, key wildlife viewing areas, hiking trails, and other recreation sites which contain interpretive wayside signs easily accessed and viewed by paddlers. All of the stopping points along with navigational markers and other useful information are displayed in a waterproof, tear proof, floating map and guide which is available at the Friends of Eastern Neck Bookstore located at the Visitor Center. While the trail may appear simple, it includes long stretches of open, tidal water along the Chesapeake Bay and Chester River which is greatly influenced by wind, weather, currents, and tidal changes. Paddlers should use caution and adhere to safety recommendations. For more information call 410-639-7056 or visit www.fws.gov/northeast/easternneck/.
The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) is a non-profit organization dedicated too promoting stewardship and environmental education of the Chesapeake Bay. In 2007, in partnership with Maryland DNR, a waterproof map and guide was created that highlights three separate water trails, which range in length from 1 to 2.8 miles, to guide paddlers along Marshy Creek, Prospect Bay, and Cabin Creek. The open waters of Prospect Bay are also close at hand for more experienced paddlers. CBEC features extensive marsh and woodland habitat and is a great place for wildlife enthusiasts to view a variety of species including Bald Eagles, Great Horned Owls, Ospreys, Surf Scooters, Red Fox, White-Tail Deer, otters and muskrats. Copies of the water trail map are available at the CBEC visitor center and the Queen Anne’s County Exploration Center. For more information call CBEC at 410-827-6694 or visit www.bayrestoration.org.
Produced by Maryland DNR and Talbot County, this map shows ten suggested paddling trails around and near Tilghman Island. The island is located between the Chesapeake Bay and the Choptank River and has a number of public access points where visitors can launch boats. The trails range in distance from 4 miles to 9 miles and are not marked. Those planning to paddle should consult additional maps and reference materials prior to venturing out. This map is printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper and is available through the Talbot County Office of Tourism by calling 410-770-8000. Maps are also available from the DNR Online Store by clicking this link.
The Choptank and Tuckahoe River guide provides information for exploring the Choptank and Tuckahoe rivers from Greensboro and Hillsboro to the Preston area. This guide is produced by Old Harford Town Maritime Center in West Denton, Maryland and has a web page that features a trip planner, river trip fact sheets, and information on historic sites, accommodations and public landings. View an electronic copy of the maps at www.riverheritage.org/Riverguide/index.html. Printed copies of this map are available at the Old Harford Town Maritime Center in West Denton, Maryland. For more information call 410-241-8661 or send an e-mail request to email@example.com. While not currently mapped, the area beyond the scope of this river guide, along the Lower Choptank River (Talbot and Dorchester counties), is being explored.
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