I will be in Annapolis for the Sailboat Show in Oct. I used to go every year but kids came along and all.... This time I'm taking my 10 year old son and a couple of kayaks. We're staying on Kent Island. Anyone have any suggestions for a good launch area or paddling destinations? Keep in mind, I have a 10 year old. He's a very good paddler for his age. He'll probably be in my wife's Eliza, but maybe in his WS Pungo. I'll be in my Caribou. But what I want is some nice, easy, fun paddling, where the boy can explore. He loves beaching and exploring and finding treasures. And we may do a little fishing, as well.
Any suggestions would be appreciated, I've never paddled in that area.
And the launch map on this site.
You can launch from Kent Narrows, Matapeake Park, etc. - plenty of places.
I paddle Kent Island quite a bit. We launch most often out of Kent Narrows. This is the channel between Kent Island and the mainland to the east. The advantage is that you can go north for somewhat more open water, or south for more protected water. The disadvantage for a young paddler may be that, depending on the tide, the Narrows can have strong currents either way. About 2.5 miles directly north is the Eastern Neck Wildlife refuge, if your son is up for that distance. If you’re interested in going there, you might launch from Jackson Creek which is a mile or two off Kent island to the east, and there won’t be currents to deal with. Look for Holly’s Restaurant on Route 50, and take the road the short road to the put-in.
We also launch out of Matapeake on the western side of Kent Island, two miles south of the Bay Bridge. This puts you directly on the open Bay, though, so depending on conditions that day, it maybe calm or you may find yourselves in 2-3 foot waves. The Bay can change moods quickly, and open water might not be the best for a Pungo.
We sometimes launch from Crab Alley, at the end of 522/Little Creek Road. From here, you can paddle a mile or so up a protected creek, or south into semi-protected waters.
Careful about parking – in Queen Anne’s County you will need to buy a $10 day pass. They’re not generally available at launch sites. If you’re coming from Annapolis, stop at Angler’s Sports Center on Route 50, on the right in between Annapolis and the Bay Bridge. On Kent Island, the places are Blue Heron Golf Course 410-643-5721, Boaters World 410-604-2613, L&B Marine 410-643-3600, Chesapeake Outdoors 410-604-0446.
Matapeake has 2 launch areas. One is the $10 boat ramp area, the other is a free (with plenty of parking)sandy beach a few hundred yards north (the road has a fork before you enter the ramp area, before the fork to the Police station area). The sandy beach area is nicer but requires perhaps 200 yards carry from the parking area. As mentioned - open bay once you get outside the break wall, so it could be rough if the wind is blowing hard from the west, especially.
Thanks for sharing all these put ins!
Thanks both of you for those replies. Kocho, that link is a great resource. George4908, thank you for those descriptions, very helpful. That gives us a range of options. Looking forward to this trip!
Edit: Kocho, saw your second post, we must have been writing at the same time. Thanks for that info. A bit of a carry at the beach there, but maybe worth a visit anyway. I think with the boy we'll stay in fairly protected waters. He's good for a 10 year old, but still. Thanks!
You need a permit to use public launches in Queen Annes County. As you head east on 50 towards the bridge to Kent Island, you can stop an Anglers Outfitters to buy a permit and pick up a map to the ramps.
On Kent Island, there are boat ramps leading to creeks on the interior of the island. These might be more appropriate for a kid if the wind is blowing. Around Kent Island, there is a lot of open water that might not be that much fun for a kid. There aren’t many beaches to explore. It’s mostly rip-rapped and sea-walled. There’s a beach at Matapeake that is nice.
More info on QAC launches
Chesapeake Bay Center
Give them a call ahead of time and ask.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
I have been exploring with google earth and kind of reaching a conclusion that this area may not be the best for us, for much that reason. Pretty heavily developed, tons of motor boats, etc. Have been wondering if maybe somewhere NW or S of Annapolis might be better.
wondered about that place
Thanks, Marshall. I saw that on the map but checked the website just now. Might be a good option close to where we’re staying. I’ll give them a call.
Away from the Narrows
Once away from the Narrows and the channel that leads to it motor boat traffic thins out a lot. Also it’s past Labor Day so more motor boaters think it’s winter. Keep in mind, lots back waters and channels to explore that motors don’t go.
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
Hyde Park, NY
Thanks, Marshall. That’s encouraging.
If you want a nice calm paddle, I would suggest Tuckahoe. You can put in at the Tuckahoe park or there are many ramps further down along the river. It’s not ON Kent Island but not too far from it.
Look on the paddling.net map for the put ins or google tuckahoe park
Launched yesterday from Shipping Creek, one of the QAC boat launches on Kent Island. We paddled into Cox Creek and up Warehouse Creek. There are some nice, undeveloped stretches along the upper parts of Warehouse Creek that I didn’t know existed on Kent Island. That’s about a five mile paddle to get up Warehouse Creek, so if the lad can handle that distance I think it would be a good trip for you.
Its about a mile across from Shipping Creek to Cox Creek, and there is a fetch that opens to the Bay on the south, so you could potentially run into rough water there, although the water was only about 4 feet deep (tide?). So, just be wary of the weather.
Thanks to Guy for reminding of being a kid in the 50s and 60s running through Kent Narrows in a power boat. We kedged off plenty of old Bay built sailboats when the tidal rips were running. Exciting times.
booz – thanks, that’s very good info. I haven’t asked of the Boy a five mile paddle yet. Not sure he’s quite ready for that. Warehouse Creek looks appealing. I don’t see any public launches listed, will keep looking. Shipping Creek launch looks appealing. We’ll be attending the sailboat show, so we’ll have limited time to play with the 'yaks. Much appreciate all the suggestions, I’m really looking forward to this weekend.
Oh, and ppine… as a lifelong sailor, thanks for the kedging efforts. I’ve been pulled off a sandbar or two in my time by a kind stinkpotter…
Annap. Sailboat show Oct. 9-16 …
..... this weekend just ending was 10-6-14 , so I'm guessing these suggestions aren't too late .
Besides . the temp. dropped down this weekend and the wind has been up , maybe better next week (??) for you , hopefully .
I 2nd Tuckahoe for you and your boy , (Not the below spillway run , to dangerous for him) ... but ABOVE the spillway will be great . You have parking either side of the small pond main body . Restroom (public park type) is on the right side , a concrete ramp is on the left side .
You leave the main pond area (it's not large) and go to the right following what looks like a main channel , always "heading into" a very , very light current flow .
This channel will wind around some bends here and there , have straights in between . At one point a mile or so back in , there will come a very sharp bend to the left (this bend is greater than 90 with a tad extra current coming at you for very short bit) , go that way and just continue your exploration , staying in what always appears the main channel , until you are ready to head back . The very light current always flows back to the main pond .
This little place will give you a sense that you are far far away from civilization (except for maybe a few other paddlers if they're out too) , and is extremely peacful and pretty .
If you want to see some photos of what it looks like from a paddling perspective ... drop an email , I'll send you some .
The other option I was thinking of is called Wye Mill pond . This is a 50 ac. pond , has a splillway up front . Has a ramp , portable outhouses (Johnies) , and parking .
Wye Mill has plenty of BlueGill and small Bass in it . A #4 hook with nightcrawler and bobber tossed along the shore around fallen log/limb should bring him plenty of strikes !!
Wye Mill pond has homes around about half it's perimeter , the othe half is woods . The back of the pond gets shallower , and there are several places to get out and stretch your legs back there . It's not big , but your boy might think it's big to him .
Photos of it too if you want ...
Have a nice paddle and visit in any case ... hope the weather is on your side that day :-)
Either of those two places will be a hop skip and a jump from where you'll be staying , Wye Mill pond being the closer (best chance for him to catch fish too) , Tuckahoe being more the explorer feel (catching fish there is more challenging also) .