kayaking and canoeing at chesapeake bay


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Kayak/Canoe Information

Need a kayak or canoe Retreat in Chesapeake Bay?

Thanks to its location, amidst the labyrinth of waterways that are Dorchester County, Ransome's Chesapeake bay Retreat is a paradise for coastal paddlers. Twenty-three paddling locales are noted on the county's water trail map, granting almost endless options for exploration. And don't forget the private boat access at the Retreat. You can drive your boat and launch at the many nearby put-ins or simply slip it from Ransome's shore into the chain of twisting channels that begin at the house.

Dorchester County offers some of the best coastal marshland ever paddled, and the area surrounding the Retreat is no exception. You can investigate the meandering channels for hours, spooking egrets, herons, and rails from the slender, snail-laden grasses which turn golden in the autumn sun.

The marsh is accented by low bluffs which sit above the water, crested with loblolly pines. Watch these for bald eagles, which live year round in the area, and which congregate during the fall and winter in some of the largest numbers on the east coast.

Nine miles up the road, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge has recently made canoeing for exploration just easier with new put-ins, a canoe route signed on the osprey-nesting platforms, and a soon-to-be published paddling brochure. Blackwater is reknown for waterfowl in the fall and winter, when thousands of ducks descend upon the pools and marshes. The Refuge also presents paddlers with variety - from the large, open water at the center of the Refuge where the Blackwater and Little Blackwater Rivers meet, to twisting marshlands, and the winding path of the Blackwater River as it enters and exits the Refuge. Human intrusion around the Refuge is reduced to a few thatched-roof duck blinds, and the sound of your own paddle dipping in the water.

If you prefer kayaking through rolling waves, then the location of this Chesapeake Bay Retreat may well be perfect. The marsh paths take you quickly to the Chesapeake Bay where an undeveloped shore greets the rise and fall of the tide. The inter-tidal zone along the Bay is a beachcombers treasure chest, full of shells, seaweed and driftwood - carved into intriguing shapes by the sand and water.

Options from here are as open as the horizon. For instance, you can make a full day, approximately sixteen mile loop of the Retreat, by following the meandering path of Punch Island Creek from the Bay until it loops south through Taylor's Island Wildlife Management Area to the Honga River. The Honga reconnects you to the Chesapeake Bay just south of Swan Harbor and the white forms of its feathered inhabitants. Don't worry about getting lost on such a venture, the Retreat has maps of the region, and the channel is well marked - one of the few reminders of people you will find.

Halfway through this loop, you will come to another farm, owned by the Ransome's, sitting in the perfect location for lunch upon land. For shorter kayak or canoe excursions, the three mile trip to Barren Island, which sits on the distant horizon from the Retreat, may be perfect. Its name is misleading, as the only thing it is barren of is human development, save an out-of-use airstrip. The pines that top its sandy soil, create a roost for many birds of this federal wildlife refuge, and offer a private view of the Chesapeake.

Finally, after trying to kayak or canoe all this in a single weekend, there is no better place to listen to the Bay while recuperating tired muscles for the next day's paddle than the hot-tub at the Retreat. We just ask that you don't work on your j-stroke in its shallow depths.

Download all of our club flyers for more information:

Kayak & Canoeing Clubs
Fishing Clubs
Cycling & Hiking Clubs
Photo Clubs
Other Clubs

These flyers require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view.

Download it here.

Call us at 1.888.726.7863 for your next kayak or canoe retreat in Chesapeake Bay.

For bicycle and kayak rentals, please click here to view the Blackwater Paddle & Pedal Adventures.  If you mention Percy Ransome's name, you will receive a free rental offer for a limited time. Please call Percy at 888-726-7662 for additional details.

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   For reservations or further information, please contact Marie & Percy:
           888-726-7863  (Toll Fee)            856-981-6612  (Marie's cell)
           609-975-8127  (Work)            215-350-1165  (Percy's cell)
           609-257-3719  (Work Fax)            856-231-8873  (Home Fax)