Maryland has many streams, lakes, and rivers that you can kayak. There are many choices, from saltwater marshes and freshwater rapids. It can be difficult to decide where to go, especially if your kayaking experience is limited.
We’ve done all the research. We’ve put together a list of Maryland’s best places to kayak for all skill levels. No matter if you are just beginning your kayaking in Maryland adventure or an experienced paddler, Maryland has something for everyone.
The Youghiogheny River in Maryland
The Youghiogheny River, also known as the “Yough”, is a popular destination for whitewater rafting in Maryland. All levels of kayakers are welcome to join the only wild, northern-flowing river within the state. It runs from West Virginia through Maryland up to Pennsylvania so it’s worth the extra effort if you have the time.
The Lower Yough is more well-known for its family-friendly trips upstream. However, the Upper Yough’s Class IV and V rapids are too challenging for children. This section of the river is a favorite among thrill-seekers, as it provides one of only genuine water rapid experiences in Maryland. This section of the Yough is often called “the Dream Stream”, as it’s like riding down a dream.
We recommend that you only kayak the whitewater of Yough with a guide. For a great time on the Yough, contact Precision Rafting or any other whitewater rafting agency in the region.
Potomac River (MD)
Maryland’s history is a vital part of the Potomac River and its tributaries. They are also some of Maryland’s best kayaking spots. History enthusiasts will enjoy paddling in the same waters as the early Americans. The river was used for transport by troops from Civil Wars and the Revolutionary Wars.
From the Potomac Highlands to the Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River stretches over 405 miles. There are many launch points from which to choose. It all depends on where you wish to kayak and how challenging you want your trip to be.
Although the gunpowder river is generally calm, it’s worth launching close to the Shenandoah River for those who want something more intense. The rapids are great for all levels of experience, and range in Class I to III.
The Great Falls is a great place to go whitewater kayaking in Maryland for those who are more adventurous than most.
Eden Mill Park/Deer Creek in Maryland
Deer Creek in Eden Mill Park, located in Pylesville is an easy way for relaxation lovers or beginners to enjoy a day on the water. It’s located on 118 acres of parkland and is perfect for a full-day expedition that includes hiking and kayaking in Maryland.
Although the kayaking in Maryland route is just one mile in length, Eden Mill Park’s scenery makes it stand out from other parks. It is breathtaking to see the vegetation and wildlife along the banks.
Deer Creek is small so there are only three launch locations to choose from: two are right before the dam and one is just after. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose. Most people will launch at Deer Creek’s dam.
There are no kayak rental companies near Deer Creek. Be prepared to bring your own kayak.
How to get there: Driving is the best way to reach Eden Mill Park. Driving is the best way to get to Eden Mill Park. To Eden Mill Rd.
Assateague National Marineshore, MD
Assateague National Seashore, one of the most beautiful kayaking spots on this list is a favorite among water sports enthusiasts in the Ocean City region. This stunning shoreline has been a popular tourist spot for many decades. Kayakers have played a major role in the region’s popularity growth.
The Assateague National Marineshore is home to unique wild ponies, which have been roaming the beaches for almost 300 years. Although you cannot ride them, it is very satisfying to cruise past them in your kayak.
Only two launch points are available for Assateague from the Maryland side. Because it is closer to some cool spots within the park, the better one is located at the end of Old Ferry Landing Road. Another option is Bayside Landing Launch, which takes you out into the bay, and requires a hard paddle to get to the closest point of interest.
Assateague Outfitters can be found near the park and will assist you with your kayaking needs. You can rent or purchase other equipment at a very reasonable price.
How to get there: Train or bus is the best way to reach Assateague National Seashore. It takes approximately 3 hours to get to the oceanside from Ocean City.
Skipton Creek (Mill Creek), MD
Skipton Creek is also known as Mill Creek. It has earned a reputation for being one of the best spots to kayaking in Maryland. This section of the Wye River is a favorite spot for experienced kayakers to take novice paddlers to learn the sport. This scenic route is sure to make any novice kayaker fall in love with the sport.
You may see turtles, blue herons, and endemic frogs along the route. Spring and summer are the best seasons to visit the area because of their stunning colors.
If you want to rent a kayak, you may need to search the area. Although there aren’t any kayak rental agencies in the area, you can find many people that have their shop nearby.
How to get there: Driving is the best way to reach Skipton creek. Driving is the best way to get to Skipton creek. Continue on Wye Heights Rd. Continue on Wye Heights Rd.
Deep Creek Lake, MD
Deep Creek Lake is a well-known Maryland landmark. Deep Creek Lake is Maryland’s largest freshwater lake and offers a variety of activities, including hiking, cliff jumping, fishing, and kayaking in Maryland.
Deep Creek Lake, despite its size, is easy to navigate by kayak. The park is open all year round and offers peace and tranquility. It is best to visit the park in summer, but you can also go kayaking early in winter if the lake isn’t frozen.
You can launch your kayaking adventure from many locations on Deep Creek Lake. Many people launch their kayaks from the Deep Creek Lake State Park Boat Launch. However, many marinas allow you to launch your kayaks from their docks. You will need to pay a fee for parking and boat launch.
There are many rental companies available for Deep Creek Lake. We recommend High Mountain Sports. They have everything that you need!
Tuckahoe State Park in Maryland
Tuckahoe State Park covers nearly 500 acres and attracts novice and seasoned kayakers to its creek and lake. You can make a day of it, or camp on the park grounds for several nights if you wish to explore the hiking trails.
The calm lake is a popular choice for beginners. It has a variety of animal and plant life that you can observe while paddling the smooth surface. Tuckahoe State Park the creek is a popular spot for more experienced kayakers who are looking for adventure. You get a little more thrill with the creek’s fast currents and cool navigational tricks to keep you entertained.
It is simple to rent a kayak here – Tuckahoe State Park. You can simply go to either the boat office or state park office during weekdays. Get some help from the park rangers on duty and then launch right from the boat office.
Dundee Creek, Baltimore, MD
Dundee Creek is a great place to go if you’re a Baltimore resident and would like to take a day trip out on the water. You can kayak and bird watch from this spot, which is located not far from Baltimore. Sometimes you might be able to spot a bald Eagle!
There are several options for kayaking on Dundee Creek. The creek leads to the Chesapeake Bay. This is a longer and more difficult route than other routes in the area. You can also explore the inlets further downstream, or go on to Gunpowder River. It’s a fun adventure for all ages!
Kayaks can be rented from the Deer Creek Marina or any of the equipment rental companies in Baltimore. You don’t have to carry your equipment through the wooded areas if you rent kayakers.
Hawk Cove, Rocky Point State Park in Maryland
Are you looking for a relaxing and easy weekend paddle? Hawk Cove is located in Rocky Point State Park. Families love to visit this cafe to enjoy a delicious meal and then go on to their kayaking routes. You can also launch right from the beach next to the restaurant.
Hawk Cove is protected from wind and inclement weather, so it’s a peaceful paddle. For those who are looking for adventure, you can also kayak to Hart-Miller Island.
Rocky Point Kayak has equipment rentals and route guides that will help you get your trip off to a good start.
Triadelphia Reservoir, MD
This man-made reservoir is located on the Patuxent River and features tranquil waters and serene nature all year. This is a great spot for beginners. There are no current or navigational problems to consider.
To find the kayaking launch spot, follow Greenbridge Road until the end. Although there are no kayak rental companies in the area, the reservoir is not far from Baltimore. There you can pick up all your equipment.
To paddle the Triadelphia Reservoir, however, you will require a license. For you and your friends, visit the local fish-and-wildlife office.
Craighill Light Channel
For a thrilling water adventure, kayakers can explore the Craighill Light Channel to get a close-up view of Maryland’s tallest light. Intermediate and advanced paddlers will be able to see this amazing lighthouse just a few miles from Rocky Point State Park’s beaches.
The Craighill Lighthouse, built in the late 1800s is an engineering marvel of its day. The lighthouse was built in the Chesapeake Bay and appears to “float” to anyone who sees it from the beaches nearby. This impressive structure can be seen up close. Paddlers can also see architectural details as they kayak around the Craighill Lighthouse Channel.
Paddlers have two options after admiring the lighthouse. They can continue to cruise around the Chesapeake Bay or paddle to Ramona Beach. The beach offers spectacular views of the lighthouse, so paddlers can see it from a different angle. You can continue paddling to North Point State Park if you want to relax paddle longer. This beautiful beach has lighthouse views.
This adventure is best for advanced and intermediate paddlers, as the lighthouse is far out in the Bay. You can launch your kayak from Rocky Point State Park, Ramona Beach, or your own boat. You can also rent kayak gear at Chesapeake Paddle Sports. Kayaking Baltimore gives you the chance to experience sights such as the Craighill Lighthouse from a completely new perspective.
How to get there: Driving is the best way to get to Craighill Lighthouse Channel. Driving is the best option. Take I-95 towards New York. Continue on North Point Rd. Continue on North Point Rd.
There are many landscapes to be explored in the shallow tidal waters at Transquaking River. The Transquaking River in Baltimore is an ideal spot for avid paddlers and fishermen.
A 6-mile loop around the Transquaking River is the preferred route for most paddlers. Although it is a good distance, the shallow marsh waters make it easy for everyone to enjoy. Kayakers can spot bald Eagles while paddling. They can also be relaxing paddles to small islands along the Potomac River. These small islands, which are surrounded by lush hardwood forests and rich in wildlife, are great places to get out of your boat and explore.
The rich cultural history of the Transquaking River is also evident. Beautiful salt marsh waters surround tribal lands. Kayakers can enjoy paddling near the Transquaking tribe’s lands on the Guinea and Chance Islands. They can also observe the natural beauty of the land. Transquaking River, which is located to the east Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, is an iconic paddling spot. This gives you the chance to see beautiful preserved marine habitats.
This area has a low tide and is a great place to canoe or kayak in Baltimore. Transquaking River, with its stunning salt marshes as well as hardwood islands, is one of the most picturesque places to paddle near Baltimore. You can launch your boat at the Bestpitch Road put-in if you have your own kayak. You can also rent kayak gear at Blackwater Adventures.
How to get there: Driving is the best way to reach the Transquaking River. Start driving on US-50 E towards Annapolis. Continue on Willeys Neck Rd. Continue to the water.
Pocomoke River Trail
The Pocomoke River Trail, which is known for its magnificent bald cypress forests as well as complex swamp ecosystems and lush vegetation, is an ideal spot for canoeing or kayaking in Baltimore. This beautiful stretch of Maryland’s outdoor is a flatwater river that flows for approximately 8 miles.
Kayakers can spot a variety of wildlife while paddling through thick maple, pine, and cypress forest forests. The Pocomoke River Trail, also known as Maryland’s “enchanted forest”, is a great place to photograph blooming trees or aquatic plants.
Kayaking the Pocomoke Water Trail, nestled against the Delmarva Peninsula allows you to explore the beauty of the peninsula. This beautiful environment is perfect for botanists, especially in the upper Pocomoke.
Snow Hill is a popular stop for kayakers. There are charming bed and breakfasts as well as other restaurants that paddlers can enjoy once they reach it. This beautiful waterway is full of simple beauty and charm. You can launch your boat in Shad’s Landing if you have your own kayak. You can also rent kayak gear from Pocomoke River Canoe Company and book tours with them..This charming river is a wonderful place to connect with nature and discover all that Baltimore has.
How to get there: Driving is the best way to reach the Pocomoke river Trail. Driving? Take US-50 E towards Annapolis. Continue on Snow Hill Rd. Continue on to the water.
The Best Places to Kayak In Maryland
We’re certain you’ll have a blast no matter where you are. Safety is the most important thing on any kayaking trip. You can also consult our detailed buyer’s guides to find out which kayak is best for you. Enjoy paddling!
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