black water refuge, cambridge md.

Has anyone kayaked the the b.w. refuge at cambridge? Any do and don’ts, thinking about makeing a trip there, and advice as what time of year.


spent little time in the Blackwater …

– Last Updated: Jun-27-09 2:49 PM EST –

..... and that was many years back when stretching my wings out some , but have a few things to reinforce about it . Patuxent's link by far is a superior source for info. there .

We were in there on occasion for fishing purposes , and that from flat bottom Jon boats .

What I do recall is there are great expanses of very shallow bays , and the tide can go out and cut your return path off , exposing a mud bar which you "do not" want to try and walk on , you sink !!

Wind direction can dramatize the shallow areas sometimes , making more shallows , too shallow .

Now the parts we use to go in there , are certainly not "all" the water available , it's a big place ... it's good to see they have a paddlers map with recommended paddlers trails now . Our adventures there where just that , we set out with rods in hand and very little preperation as too which way to go or what to expect , so we found some things out the young and hard way , but it got better with time and experience .

Even way back then , there where many Bald Eagles there , so I can imagine there are many more now a days .

Bugs that bite you ouchy ... yep , got them too , it's a lot of marshy area in there ... don't try walking in it if you get stranded in shallows for some reason , probably best to wait it out if that happens , the water will rise again about 6 hrs later .

So this ain't much , but it's what I thought about when we went in the Blackwater back then .

Probably a good idea to take a pole if you got a place on board for one ?? ... longer than your paddle .

I'm pretty sure others on the forum will have good paddling experience and advise in Blackwater coming for you soon .

Some TRs over at CPA
I thought I paddled Blackwater a few times at Canoe-O events the duckheads used to orchestrate. But those were always in March, and I just read that Blackwater is closed in March, whatever that means. How do you close a marsh? Anyway, the nice thing about it at that time of year was that a lot of it was burnt. That’s right, burnt, as in somebody goes out there and makes a controlled burn during the off season. The burn knocks down the marsh grass, greatly increasing visibility. And insect activity is nil in March, too. Apparently, I don’t know much about the place. Try looking at trip reports over on the Chesapeake Paddlers forums.


What’s the pole for, Dan? Not much use for pushing in that muck.

Almost lost my bow-woman over there one March when she stepped out into the soft stuff. She was hip deep in high suction mud. Finally got out by shoveling mud with the paddles.


Blackwater WLR
Donna…I have kayaked this area several times, and while it is very serene and you may not see another soul all day, there’s a certain sameness to the trips. You also need to be aware of the tides as you can get stranded and its mud bottom.

Didn’t mean to discourage you, but I’d recommended going a few miles further south to Janes Island SP (near Crisfield). A beautiful area, with marked salt water marsh trails, or you can go out into Tangier Sound and play in the surf. There’s also about 5 miles of usually deserted sand beach.


Yes!! That is what I am looking for. Thank you.