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How do you have an outdoor adventure, workout, and de-stress sesh all at the same time? Well, you’re going to a need a paddle and a kayak.
You can make your paddle adventure slow and peaceful, allowing the currents to pull you downstream. OR, you can use your kayak as a workout, sculpting your arms as you paddle through rough rapids.
We’re sure once you’ve heard of these beautiful spots in Baltimore you’ll be packing up the car to head out to the open waters. And best of all, you don’t even need to own your own kayak—we’ve got you covered there too.
Hammermans Beachfront along the Gunpowder River is a great location to launch your kayak. Take guided tours from Ultimate Watersports or explore on your own, but if your arms didn’t get enough of a workout, play a round of volleyball with your toes in the sand AND in the water! Fitt Tip: as one of the most popular parks in Maryland, Hammermans Beachfront often fills to capacity during the summer season. Get your kayak to the shore early in the morning to ensure a full day paddling and beaching.
At the mouth of the Gunpowder River, Dundee Creek Marina in Middle River offers beautiful views for you as you voyage on your ’yak. Best of all, this spot is known for its Moonrise and Firework Tours. Spend an evening kayaking into the sunset to watch the rising full moon—reservations required. Or better yet, on the Fourth of July, kick back on the water (literally) and bring your special someone to watch sparks fly!
Urban kayaking can be quite a thrill. Currents are light, and though boat traffic can get heavy (even with the tourist dragon paddle boats), what better way to see the city of Baltimore than by paddling the Harbor itself? Plus, if you need your own, Canton Kayak Club can hook you up. Once you’re afloat, take your kayak past the Baltimore Aquarium, the beloved Domino Sugar Factory, and even witness Baltimore history as you launch from just about anywhere with a dock!
According to urban legend, there’s an hidden city beneath the waters of the Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County. Disembark on a thrilling adventure from any of the beaches found along the water (if you find any hidden treasure from the lost city we expect you to share). Besides treasures on the riverbed, you can find waterfalls and cliffs to admire during your day spent kayaking. Just don’t stay after dark — we heard portions of the Blair Witch Project were filmed in the woods of Loch Raven, and you don’t want to get locked into the park grounds carrying your kayak for miles with a witch on the loose (and Shallow Creek Kayaks will probably keep your deposit).
In the quiet woods of Harford County, lug your kayak to Deer Creek in Eden Mill Park. Here, the beginner kayaker can enjoy a flatwater float, perfect for finding a relaxing paddle downstream or taking in the beautiful woodland views. To top it off, along the water’s edge, you can find a historic grist mill (complete with spillway waterfall).
On the Susquehanna River along the Pennsylvania state Line, Conowingo Pond and Muddy Creek make you feel as if you are on another planet. The river can be miles wide at some parts, and you’ll be floating along stone passageways long enough that you’ll start to forget you are just a few miles from the bustling city life.
Open year-round from dawn to dusk in Essex, Maryland, Rock Point State Park offers a variety of water trails for you to paddle. Set your kayak afloat from the Rocky Point Beach and pick between Hart-Miller Island, the Chesapeake Bay, or the Craighill Light Channel. And Hart-Miller Island is only accessible by boat or kayak, so consider this an exclusive adventure! Fitt Tip: It’s a two-mile kayak to Hart-Miller, so make sure you pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and snacks (major key).
As we mentioned, you can also paddle to the Lower Rear Lighthouse at Craighill Light Channel! A few miles out from Rocky State Park’s beachfront, this lighthouse actually floats on water due to construction issues on shore. Though you can see it from the beachfront, it’s an adventure to get close and personal to view the tallest light in Maryland.
Now this is a pretty spot to paddle downstream! Disembark on your adventure in Manchester, Maryland. From there, the Gunpowder River will carry you through calm waters, but currents pick up around the gorge of the Gunpowder—best reserved for more experienced paddlers (currents become a class II whitewater). But don’t let that scare you away from the beauty you can experience during your paddle. There’s a large waterfall upstream—drag your kayak to the streamline and hang out under the falls.