Need EASY Frederick Maryland area kayaking spots.

Hi-- My wife and I moved to Frederick last fall from upstate NY. We lived right near where the Hudson and Mohawk rivers came together and did a lot of paddling there and on local lakes and ponds.
Now that we’re here, we’re looking forward to a longer kayaking season and need some suggestions.
We have a pair of 12’ Pungo kayaks. We need spots where we can easily return to where we put in-- can’t shuttle. Wade in would probably be easier than dock entry for my wife, who has back problems. Good spots within 45 minutes to an hour drive. Thanks!

The Potomac is right there. I’ve never paddled it but it looks fairly benign at normal flow. My son lived near Point of Rocks it always looked like a good spot.
I also liked the looks of the Shenandoah but it was very shallow where I could see it.
There must be a.local paddling guide available.

You need a copy of Gertler’s Maryland and Delaware Canoe Trails. You are right on top of the mild flowing Monocacy River which will probably be a great place to start. It’s on my list of places to paddle when I get around to it, but that hasn’t happened yet, so I can’t really tell you where to put in, but the Gertler book will tell you.

Don’t ignore the paddling places maps on this site. I see a number of launch points identified for the Monocacy. Also, east of you, within an hour, you could paddle the Daniels pool of the Patapsco, Tridelphia Reservoir of the Patuxent, and lots of mild Potomac River. I know there is a kayak meet up that regularly paddles on Little Seneca Lake. You need to buy a permit for Tridelphia. I don’t know about Little Seneca, but the rest are free.


Consider St Mary’s River, though you would need the above guide to see the launch spots. South and I think west of you a bit but not too far.

There are several put-ins on the Potomac River. You are also within an hour of some of the launch areas on the Chesapeake Bay, and you have several lakes nearby. Two good lakes are Triadelphia Reservoir, although the water lever is quite low at the moment, and Rocky Gorge aka T. Howard Duckett Reservoir. Most of the lakes you will paddle at will require a permit, but the Potomac and the Chesapeake Bay will not.

As Chip mentioned, the Monocacy can be good depending on water levels. I think they are most reliable in the spring and early summer. There are several put-ins near Frederick, including one right by the WalMart on the west end of town near rte 26.

There are a couple of paddling clubs that may have more information. The Monocacy Canoe Club is local to you and the Chesapeake Paddlers Association ( is also a good resource. The website used to have a guide to launch sites, but I haven’t been on the website in quite a while so I don’t know if it is still there.

Not sure I agree with Ceila recommending the St. Marys River. The only St. Marys River I know of in Maryland is down south, by St. Marys City, about a three-hour drive from Frederick. Is there another one I don’t know about? Maybe in Pennsylvania?

Regarding Tridelphia Reservoir, I just read they are closing it for paddling while they rehab the Brighton Dam. The article said it will be closed for 2 years.

Whoops! BoozTalkinis is correct, I just checked on a map. I just came back up from a trip down there and really thought I had gone thru Frederick closer to St Mary’s City than that. Not 3 but solidly over 2 hrs south.