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Paddle trips offer fun way to explore Maryland waterways



Paddle trips offer fun way 
to explore Maryland waterways

Local outfitters arrange kayak, canoe tours

BALTIMORE (June 9 ) – The Potomac, Pocomoke and Patapsco are among the best-known of more than 60 rivers that flow through Maryland. These rivers – along with hundreds of creeks that wind across the state's landscape – present an abundance of options for recreation on the water, says the Maryland Office of Tourism.

"As we celebrate National Rivers Month here in Maryland, we recognize the importance of preserving and protecting our many waterways," says Gov. Martin O'Malley. "We are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of precious and vibrant natural resources like the Chesapeake Bay, the nation's largest estuary, along with more than 600 miles of water trails that provide visitors with great recreational experiences in every region of our state."

"June is a great time to take a ride on a kayak or canoe and paddle your way along some of the most scenic routes in the region," says Margot Amelia, executive director of the tourism office. "Local outfitters can help you get the most out of your trips. They are the experts when it comes to navigating the rivers in their areas."

Suzy Taylor, a proprietor of Ayers Creek Adventures in Berlin – a short drive from Ocean City – says: "We provide access to the beautiful waterways of Maryland's Eastern Shore with minimal impact to the environment. We hope that everyone who paddles with us leaves with an increased appreciation for the waterways and wildlife and some ideas on how they can be better stewards of the earth."

American Rivers, a national river conservation organization, established National Rivers Month as part of its advocacy campaign for the protection and restoration of rivers. "Getting out in a canoe or kayak is a great way to show your support for clean water and healthy rivers," said Amy Souers Kober, an American Rivers spokesperson. "Healthy, free-flowing rivers give us wonderful recreation opportunities right in our own backyard. Maryland is a leader when it comes to protecting and restoring healthy rivers."

Below are some of the state's outfitters who coordinate paddling trips along Maryland waterways. Also, Maryland's Department of Natural Resources has an online map that shows the locations of water trails with links to trail descriptions, and in some instances, trail maps.


  • Allegany Expeditions, Cumberland (Allegany County) – Paddle along the Potomac and see wildlife up close. Beginners' instruction and river guides are available. Opt for a whitewater adventure or something more relaxing.  
  • Ayers Creek Adventures, Berlin (Worcester County) – Explore coastal waterways on Maryland's Eastern Shore by kayak or canoe. A selection of eco tours take you through wetlands and saltwater marsh. Sunset tours offer gourmet meals and wine tastings.  
  • Blackwater Paddle & Pedal Adventures, Cambridge (Dorchester County) – Discover Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge by kayak. Motor boats and catamarans are also for rent. BPPA operates out of the Bucktown Village Store, where Harriet Tubman, conductor of the Underground Railroad, committed her first known act of defiance. A second location is on the beach at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort.
  • Kayaking Made E-Z, Conowingo (Harford County) – Paddle the Susquehanna River and upper Chesapeake Bay region. Furnace Bay is a showcase for wildlife. Visit a lock on the Susquehanna-Tidewater or take a paddle tour around Havre de Grace and learn the history of this town that almost became the U.S. capital.
  • Kent Island Kayaks, Grasonville (Queen Anne's County) – Located next to the Hilton Garden Inn off Route 50, this outfitter provides guided fishing trips on kayaks. Its slogan is: "Paddle fast and fish hard." In addition to fishing and recreational kayaks, the company offers stand-up paddleboards.
  • Patuxent Adventure Center, Solomons Island (Calvert County) – Select from a half-dozen guided kayak tours. Kayaks and stand-up paddleboards can be rented. A second location is in Leonardtown, where the Port of Leonardtown marks the starting point for a three-mile water trail on McIntosh Run that ends at Leonardtown Wharf Public Park.
  • 'Peake Paddle Tours, Trappe (Talbot County) – See wildlife and scenic landscapes on the Eastern Shore as you paddle along freshwater streams, salt marshes, and the Tuckahoe, Choptank, Nanticoke and Pocomoke rivers. Proprietor offers instruction for inexperienced kayakers and more advanced training for experienced paddlers.
  • Potomac Paddlesports, Rockville (Montgomery County) – Known for its beginners' instruction, Potomac offers free weekly practice nights for affiliated students. The company operates on the Potomac River and C&O Canal in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. It has contributed 2 percent of its gross revenues to conservation issues.
  • Precision Rafting Expeditions (PRE), Friendsville (Garrett County) – Located near Deep Creek Lake, PRE offers guided trips along the Youghiogheny, Cheat, Big Sandy, Savage and Potomac rivers. Expeditions range from float trips to extreme river trips. Kayak instruction available.
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