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Itinerary:

A “Convenient” Paddle at Quaker’s Neck

Quaker Neck Landing is a wonderfully diverse place to begin a paddle, as it offers both sheltered areas for beginners, or more open waters for those looking for more of a challenge. Its location almost exactly between two smaller tributaries, Shippen Creek (downriver) and Jarrett Creek (upriver), makes this a great put-in site for paddlers who want to explore calmer waterways. The scenery in the area compliments the calm paddling conditions you will find. This section of the Chester River is made up of low-lying farms that date back to the 18th century. Quaker Neck Landing is located in Pomona, a small community that once contained the last country store in Kent County. Also in Pomona is Clark’s Conveniency. This historic home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is representative of those built and owned by small planters in the 18th century.

Further away from the landing, adventurous paddlers can opt to explore the Chester proper. Those wishing to do so should be aware that this part of the river is subject to strong currents and more exposed to winds. The river also widens at Comegys Bight 2 miles away; caution is advised on this stretch. This site can be quite busy during the summer months, due to its popularity as a fishing and crabbing location. Whether looking for a calm day or an adventure at Quaker Neck, you’re sure to be rewarded.

Things to Know

This landing is equidistant between Shippen Creek and Jarretts Creek, about half a mile from each. Shippen Creek is downriver from the launch and Jarretts Creek is upriver.

One can also explore the Chester itself from Quaker Neck Landing. Please be advised that this part of the river can be exposed to winds and subject to strong currents. The area can also get quite busy during summer weekends due to its location on prime crabbing and fishing grounds. Additionally, paddlers heading downstream on the Chester should be aware of Comegys Bight. Two miles down from the landing, this area widens significantly, and paddlers should use caution.

Navigational Hazards

While the creeks at this site are well protected, they can be exposed to southerly winds so keep an eye on the weather before paddling. Paddlers exploring the Chester River from this location should be aware that the river can be exposed and has strong currents. The river also widens considerably as it continues. This launch site can be busy in warmer months, as it is a popular spot for crabbing and fishing.

Water Safety

Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service, Chesapeake Conservancy and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.

Marine Forecast

We STRONGLY suggested that you review the marine forecast ahead of heading out for a paddling trip. To review the forecast for this paddle trip, visit:

Emergency Information

Launch site address:
End of Quaker Neck Landing Road
Chestertown, MD 21620

Nearest hospitals:
UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown
100 Brown St
Chestertown, MD 21620
(410) 778-3300

Chester River Hospital Center
6602 Church Hill Rd #300
Chestertown, MD 21620
(410) 778-3300

Parking & Shuttles

Adequate, unmarked dirt parking for up to 12 vehicles, gravel, open 5 am - 10 pm

Restrooms

Seasonal portable toilets

Equipment

  • ALWAYS wear a properly secured personal flotation device (PFD) when participating in paddlesport activities. Make sure that your PFD has a readily accessible safety whistle.
  • Bring a paddle float and water pump for self rescue.
  • A spray skirt is recommended for cold/foul weather.
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing that shields you from the sun (sunglasses, sunblock, hat, and a long-sleeved shirt that can get wet) and is safe to swim in. Water shoes with closed toes will protect you from abrasive hazards at launch areas that can cut your feet.
  • Bring water in bottles than can be secured to your craft. Bring more water than you think you’ll need and drink regularly throughout your journey.
     

Outfitters

Camping & Amenities

This site features a concrete boat ramp upriver from the dock, as well as a sandy beach downriver. There is a pier for loading and unloading.

There are no camping amentiies on site.

Trail History

Before the Civil War, the farmlands of Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties began to be known for their bounty of corn, wheat, and fruit. The introduction of the railroads to these areas opened them up for shipping to other counties in Maryland and beyond, which bolstered the economy of these places greatly. This growth was also accelerated by technological improvements in farm machinery. Shipbuilders in the 18th century enhanced trade by building small boats for local transportation, in addition to larger-masted vessels for trade internationally. Eventually the great steamboats of the early 20th century allowed for increased trade and tourism, bringing products and people to and from the eastern shore. Though the eastern shore is largely characterized by wide open spaces and vast farmlands, advancements and innovations in transportation have allowed for the spread of products, a boost to the economy, and the movement of people to these less-habited shores.

The Chester River once contained some of the most prolific oystering grounds on the Chesapeake Bay, even attracting its own fleet of “oyster pirates” that regularly sailed under the cover of darkness to illegally dredge oysters reserved for hand-tonging.  While much of the Chester’s oyster population has been lost due to pollution, overharvesting, and disease, the middle portion of the river contains one of the last viable oyster bars on the upper Bay.  In late fall, watermen can still be seen anchored over this bar in front of Cliff City Landing using the ancient method of hand-tonging to capture the tasty bivalves.

Weather

Main image: Chris Cerino / Sultana Education Foundation