10 Best Kayaking Destinations In Maryland


Are you a kayaker and probably have no idea where to go kayaking in Maryland? Don’t worry because we’ve gathered some amazing places for you to explore.

Maryland is a beautiful state with spectacular wildlife and gorgeous water bodies that attract kayakers to paddle around. This part of the universe presents attractive lakes and concealed charms waiting to be revealed.

If you are yearning for a new place to show off your kayaking skills, hook a fish in your fishing kayak, or just unwind in your recreational kayak, then look no further. Maryland kayaking destinations accommodate all levels of kayakers, so whether you are a pro or just starting to learn how to kayak, you will surely have a memorable experience.

Below are our 10 best-kayaking destinations in Maryland. Each of these spots will get you exploring the natural beauty of Maryland with each slice of the water.

1. Thorne Gut Marsh

Thorne Gut Marsh is among the top places to kayak in Maryland. With an excellent and fresh natural environment, Thorne Gut offers various adventurous areas to explore. Powerboats are not allowed here. This means that you can only use a paddled kayak to explore the waters and the surroundings.

The area is excellent for fishing too, so if you love angling, make sure to bring your fishing kayak with you.  For bird lovers, the sounds of geese, bald eagles, and other waterfowls in the area will soothe your soul with every paddle.

2. Skipton Creek

Skipton Creek, also known as Mill Creek, is a very scenic water trail among the top spots for kayaking in Maryland. Here, you get an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife like osprey, great blue herons, turtles, frogs, beavers, kingfishers, and red-winged blackbirds. The area enjoys calm weather and smooth waters most of the time, so it is the perfect spot for novice kayakers.

Skipton is also an excellent location for those who love vegetation. Paddling your kayak in the middle of oaks, hickory, black gum, and dogwood is an experience you don’t want to miss.

Carry your fishing gear and enjoy angling from a kayak along with the fallen tree limbs. Just be careful when paddling, as you can easily get snagged by the fallen limbs.

3. Pocomoke River and Tributaries

The Pocomoke River has a swampy area that stretches approximately 106km. It is among the best kayaking and paddleboarding spots you can ever find in Maryland, which allows a view of some wildlife. Expect to also see all types of birds, ducks, turtles, and geese on your trip down the stream.

The lower part of the River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, while its upper part flows through a series of relatively inaccessible wetlands known as Great Cypress Swamp. Paddle gently through the smooth running waters and catch a variety of fish species like the panfish, largemouth bass, pickerel, and even longnose gar.

4. Gunpowder River

The Gunpowder River is yet another favorite spot for kayakers. There are enough rough spots along the river, which makes it one of the best areas for those who are looking to pull more intense kayaking stunts. If you are going to visit this spot, however, make sure to learn basic kayak self-rescue techniques so you can stay out of harm in the event of your boat tips.

Kayaking in Gunpowder River can be done all year round but the waters can get really cold during the winter season. Therefore, if you will be booking your trip at this time, make sure to pack your best winter kayaking gear to stay warm. Strong currents may be experienced during the cold season, so always have your life jacket on just in case.

5. Youghiogheny River


The Youghiogheny River, which is referred to by many as the “Yough”, was the first wild river to flow northwards in Maryland. It is so popular for whitewater canoeing, rafting, and kayaking. Paddlers of all experience levels flock here to enjoy the sport.

If you love kayaking in choppy waters and are looking for a challenge, then Youghiogheny River should be on top of your list. You can rent your equipment here including a whitewater kayak and other kayaking accessories that you may need to make your paddling comfortable.

6. Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Park

Also known as C&O Canal, this national historic park offers paddling opportunities on some select segments of the Canal and the Potomac River. The park allows visitors to participate in various recreational activities like biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, and paddling. It has still waters and is an ideal place for kayaking and canoeing in the scenery of Georgetown.

Rental services are available at Fletcher’s Boathouse on the canal including SUP paddleboards and even kids paddleboards (for those who will be bringing their little ones for paddling). The current is not very strong here so you can paddle the river downstream to Georgetown and back without much effort.

7. Deep Creek Lake

Deep Creek Lake is the largest fresh-water lake in Maryland offering a variety of recreational activities like fishing, kayaking, and canoeing. It is about 3 hours from the District of Columbia and points to Virginia and Maryland. Deep Creek is a 4 season zone so you can actually schedule your trip for any time of the year.

Taking an early sunrise kayaking around the lake will get you enjoying the beautiful and serene environmental temperatures. Slice the waters in a calming environment and have an amazing view during that time. Rental services are available here for a small fee.

8. Dundee Creek

Dundee Creek is among the prettiest creeks outside of Baltimore city. It is a beautiful marsh ecosystem naturally designed for exploring the bountiful flooded marine flora and wildlife like bald eagles, herons, osprey, and terrapins. Rent different types of kayaks on the spot and enjoy the gorgeous scenery and calm waters.

There is a launch site for kayaks and canoes in which paddlers can choose where to go. Whether to the right or left, you can paddle up to the Gunpowder River while the cove opens into the Chesapeake Bay. Along the way are different places like beaches where you can pause and enjoy a picnic.

9. Potomac River

The Potomac River, which is nicknamed the nation’s river, is a great spot for boating enthusiasts who visit Maryland. It is a historical part of Maryland that offers a variety of paddling experiences from the tidal zone to the rapids at the great fall. You can launch your kayak into the water and enjoy paddling along this stretch of the river.

Along the Potomac River are several places where kayaking lessons and guided tours are offered. Residents of the area enjoy walking on the shores of the river where sometimes they valiant with its waves when kayaking.

During winter, the Potomac River gets extremely cold, so it is recommended that you dress warmly and pack the right winter kayaking gear to have a safe and comfortable paddling experience.

10. Eden Mill Park

Eden Mill Park is among the most scenic places to kayak in Maryland. It is good for smaller kayaks since the creek’s water is calm. Beginner kayakers can hire a watercraft of their choice and enjoy a flat-water float.

The kayaking area is just over a mile away in appealing scenery. The view of the historic gristmill in Eden Mill Park is just awesome. This is also an excellent opportunity to see wildlife. You may even spot a deer jump out at the old gristmill! There are places to park your car inside the park.

Things To Do When Planning A Kayaking Trip

Every kayaking trip requires enough preparation, and one to Maryland will be no exception. Here are a few things to do to make your expedition more comfortable and most importantly, safe.

  • Purchase or rent the right gear.
  • Familiarize yourself with basic kayaking safety techniques like getting back into a kayak after it’s flipped over, kayak wet exit and entry, and righting a kayak, to mention a few.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. If they can accompany you, even better.
  • Once you have picked your preferred destination, do your research to know what to expect, the best time to visit, and any special gear you need to bring if any.

Globo Surf Overview

What is kayaking if you do not experience different destinations with totally different weather seasons and tactics when paddling? How well are you able to know if you are a pro in the sport if you are only used to the local waters you do it in?

With the above list of the best places to kayak in Maryland, you will be able to view the sport in a completely new light and compete with paddlers of different experience levels. But as with all kayaking trips, make sure to prepare adequately and acquire the right equipment before you go.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!