Chesapeake Bay Paddling

Chesapeake Bay Paddling

Canoeing and Kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay Region


The shallow, protected waters of the Chesapeake Bay and it’s tributaries are excellent for canoeing and kayaking.  Paddling in these small boats has become an increasingly popular activity in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Canoes and Kayaks can be launched from boat ramps, beaches, and other shoreline areas.  These quite, shallow draft craft allow you to get up close to nature and explore areas inaccessible to larger boats.

Water Trails

Several water trails have been established around the Bay for use by canoes and kayaks.  These trails guide you from point to point along mostly protected waterways.

Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers Water Trail
60 miles of trail on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Eastern Branch Elizabeth River Trail
Runs through Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

Gloucester County, Virginia Blueways
System of five separate water trails spanning Gloucester County, VA.

Janes Island Water Trails
Several trails of different lengths. Located near Crisfield, MD.

Mathews Blueways Water Trails
90 miles of trails on Virginia’s western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Paddle the Nanticoke
Nanticoke River water trail on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Potomac River Water Trail
100 miles of trails along Virginia and Maryland shorelines with lots of stops at historic sites.

The Chesapeake Paddlers Association
Offers activities for kayakers within the Chesapeake Bay region.

Sea Kayaking Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay:
Day Trips on the Tidal Tributaries and Coastlines of the Western and Eastern Shore.

Sea Kayaking Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay By Michael Savario and Andrea Nolan.

This sea kayaking guide to the Chesapeake Bay region offers information and guidance for 30 paddling trips.

Trip descriptions include important information on put-ins and take-outs, winds, and currents, equipment, paddling techniques, and safety issues. The authors enliven their instruction with informative sidebars on topics such as salt marsh ecology, wildlife, and social and maritime history.