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A Peaceful Paddle at “Graves End”

This landing is located on the upper part of Grays Inn Creek. The creek was historically important for housing a major shipyard that built wooden ships for various uses throughout the Chesapeake and beyond.  While smaller vessels delivered agricultural exports from Kent County to other ports in the colonies, larger vessels were used to transport tobacco and other products to England and the Caribbean. The name of the creek might also suggest an inn of historical importance located in this area. But some historians believe the creek got its name not from a popular inn, but rather the blending of the words “Graves End”, the name of an historical cape in England.

Whether Grays Inn or Graves End, the creek is easily explored in either direction. Heading upstream just over one mile will take paddlers to the head of the creek, while the creek meanders downstream for 2.6 miles from the landing to where the mouth meets the Chester River.  It may be of interest to note that Grays Inn can have excellent crabbing in the spring and fall seasons, making this a busy launch site for recreational crabbers.

Things to Know

The landing at Grays Inn Creek is one mile from the head of the creek upstream. Downstream, paddlers will travel 2.6 miles before reaching the mouth of the creek and the Chester River. This route is more exposed but offers a longer itinerary for those who have more time.

Navigational Hazards

This landing is well-protected and features only moderate tidal currents. Those who venture to the lower Chester River a few miles downstream will be more exposed to wind and the tides. Novice paddlers should stay in the creek, and only intermediate shoul

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 Grays Inn Landing Road
Rock Hall, MD 21661

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

Side of the road parking for up to 12 vehicles, gravel, 5 am - 10 pm




  • 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.


Camping & Amenities

This site is for soft launch only; there is a dirt ramp that is suitable for vessels launched by hand.

There are no camping facilities 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.