I know you are all chomping at the bit to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. And what better way to do that than to go kayaking? But finding the perfect kayaking spots in and around Baltimore is easier said than done. It should not be too far away, the water should be calm and there should be a good view. Now, that is a long list of qualifications. But never fear, I have done the research for you and found the best places to go kayaking in Baltimore.
Loch Raven Reservoir
The Loch Raven Reservoir is a kayaking haven, located just 35 minutes driving distance from Baltimore. Loch Raven is ideal for paddling in the afternoon. You get vast stretches of calm water to explore and serenity to enjoy. You can bring your own kayak or rent one from the Loch Raven Fishing Center. Yes, there are options for renting angling gears too! There are multiple launching sites at this reservoir. The place is ideal for kayaking lovers with varying skill levels.
- Area: 9.712 km²
- Length: 17.22 km
- Surface elevation: 73 m
More Information: https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/departments/environment/watersheds/lrmain.html
Gunpowder Falls State park
Located at the northern side of Baltimore, this beautiful state park is a haven for kayakers. Apart from kayaking, you can also indulge in activities like angling and hiking in this region. The Park is large and so you can choose from any of the access points. The Hertford area is what most people use. From here, you get a good view of the Big Gunpowder Falls. Ensure your kayaking skills are good as the water is rather cold here. There are both Whitewater and flat-water areas on the trail. The class ii rapids are ideal for expert paddlers. You may relax at the Hammerman Beach after indulging in paddling.
- Area: 14,949 acres (60.50 km2)
- Address: 7200 Graces Quarters Rd, Middle River, MD 21220, United States
More Information: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/pages/central/gunpowder.aspx
Craighill Light Channel
Located at Edgemere, the Craighill Light Channel is loved by paddling lovers who are interested in watching historic landmarks too. The Craighill Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in Maryland, made in the 1800s. The lighthouse seems to be floating from people on nearby beaches. Paddling and watching the impressive towering structure is quite an experience. After watching the structure from close, you can paddle to Ramona Beach. From here you get to see the lighthouse in a different way.
Location: Entrance to the Patapsco River, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
More Information: https://www.lighthousefriends.com/light.asp?ID=416
Eden Mill Park, Deer Creek, MD
Baltimore is a well-known seaport in Midland and it has many nearby destinations for water sports including kayaking. Among the prominent water bodies near Baltimore, the Eden Mill Park gets a special mention. Located in Pylesville, it is less than an hour’s journey from the city. The location is rather historic. The creek is linked with the Eden Mill Pond, a haven for birdwatchers. There are old bridges and charming urban landscapes around. The pond is ideal to start kayaking if you have your own boat. It is linked with so many hiking trails as well.
Address: 1617 Eden Mill Rd, Pylesville, MD 21132, United States
More Information: https://www.edenmill.org/
Thorne Gut Marsh
Not every kayaking lover looks for artificial lakes or calm rivers. This is a grassy, swampy marsh with a water body and the location is a bit tricky to locate. You have to drive one hour and thirty minutes towards the southeast from Baltimore to reach Thorne Gut Marsh. There are pretty lilypad gardens and beautiful landscapes but the paddling itself can be somewhat challenging. Try the Aquia Point boat ramp launch if you have a kayak.
Are you in the mood to enjoy kayaking in a destination not far from Baltimore? Try the Lake Centennial in Columbia, which is about 30 minutes’ driving distance from the city. The provisions for kayak rental are there and rates are quite cheap, too. This crescent-shaped lake is accessed by paddling lovers of varying ages and skill levels. You get around 50 acres of water to explore, roughly 7 miles. The wildlife species like blue herons, ospreys, and beavers are there, along with many fish species. You can use any of the several launching sites.
Conowingo Pond, MD
Located at Darlington, about 55 mins Northeast of Baltimore, the Conowingo Pond is a popular kayaking destination. The 7.5 mile loop is ideal for all types of paddlers. The pond is a part of the Susquehanna State Park, a destination for family picnics and outings. You may also head to the pretty Bears Island. Start kayaking from either the Hollywood Dam or the Norman Woods Bridge.
Pocomoke River Trail
To reach the beautiful Pocomoke River Trail from Baltimore, you will need to drive for 2 hours. Located adjacent to Snow Hill, this river trail is loved by paddlers for the cypress tree groves and swamp ecosystems. Kayakers of all types will enjoy the experience. You get 8 miles of water body to explore. This area is also known as the enchanted forest, owing to the amazing landscape and avian species found in the place. The Pocomoke River Canoe Company rents kayaks. At Snow Hill, you get access to restaurants and accommodations.
Rocky Point State Park
The Rocky Point State Park in Essex is less than 30 minutes’ drive from Baltimore. You get the option to rent kayaks here. You get a ramp launch, and a calm creek for users without motorized boats. After starting your voyage at the Back River, you can navigate to Craighill Lighthouse and Hart-Miller Island. The stream has a few moderately choppy zones. It is suited for expert paddlers.
To reach Skipton Creek from Baltimore, you will need to drive for 1.5 hours, approx. This adventurous waterway in Chapel is loved by those new to kayaking. You may opt for a morning paddling trip, if paddling in quietness is what you prefer. The shoreline of the creek is lined by oak and cypress forests, a delight to watch. The wildlife is also quite engrossing. You can also rent a kayak in case you do not have one. The boat ramp located at Talbot County Community Centre is used by the majority of paddlers.
If paddling in the reservoirs and artificial lakes do not interest you much, head to the Transquaking River in Dorchester County. It is liked much by veteran paddlers and angling lovers. The 6-minute loop is what they prefer traversing in. The marsh ecosystem is rich in flora and fauna. You can also take a break and explore the small islands located in the river, replete with hardwood forests. Its proximity to the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge entices many wildlife-loving kayakers to the river.
Tuckahoe State Park
The secluded waters at the Tuckahoe State Park are loved by paddling lovers in Baltimore a lot. The greenery is amazing and you get plenty of marshlands and hardwood forests to explore. You can explore the scenic Tuckahoe Lake, spanning over 60 acres. You will not get disturbed by any motorized boat while paddling in the lake. You may also want to explore the Tuckahoe Creek. It is also clam and quiet but is better suited for those who are new to kayaking.
Only a 30 minutes’ drive away from Baltimore; the Dundee Creek is a part of the Middle River. There are enough marshes and tributaries to explore and you may need an entire day to cover the area by paddling. The bonus experience is witnessing the intriguing wildlife of Maryland, away from the chaotic city life. You will spot plenty of blue herons, Bald Eagles, and cranes in the creek. The water is mostly calm and manageable even by beginners in kayaking. Advanced kayakers can head to the Chesapeake Bay where the creek ends.