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Itinerary:

Allen’s Lane

This is a put-in site at the end of a country road south of the busier launch sites in Rock Hall. Launching a kayak or canoe from the end of Allen’s Lane puts paddlers just north of Huntingfield Point and Huntingfield Creek. Huntingfield is a name used in several places all along the area of Eastern Neck. The name traces back to the early 1600s, when Lord Baltimore granted the western half of Eastern Neck to Thomas Ringgold. (Ringgold’s descendant Thomas V was an acquaintance of George Washington and might even have housed him during the Founding Father’s 1773 visit to Chestertown.) Ringgold named the land he received from Lord Baltimore “Huntingfield”. Over the years it was passed on to his children and grandchildren; while the land became divided, the name can still be found at different points on Eastern Neck. The name Ringgold can also be found in various places, as at Ringgold point at the southern tip of Eastern Neck, and on the Ringgold Oyster Sanctuary that neighbors it and was established in 2001 to protect shellfish habitat.

Those looking to launch from Allen’s Lane to explore the area should note that this launch site is best enjoyed on calm days due to the location on the open waters of the Chester River. Beyond Huntingfield Point, paddlers can head toward Eastern Neck Narrows, though this lies five and a half miles away on the open river. For a shorter journey, head north for half a mile to reach Rock Hall Harbor, one mile to Rock Hall Public Beach, and less than two miles for the mouths of Swan and Tavern Creeks. 

Things to Know

South of the landing, Eastern Neck Narrows is five and a half miles away. Heading north, it is only half a mile to the entrance of Rock Hall Harbor and one mile to Rock Hall Public Beach. These are excellent areas to explore. Swan and Tavern Creeks lie less than two miles from the landing, also heading north, and are also scenic, protected, and worth exploring. These trips should be taken with caution, as the water outside of the landing is fairly exposed on the lower Chester River.

Navigational Hazards

Allen's Lane is exposed to westerly and southerly winds, and should only be enjoyed on calm days. Check the weather before paddling. Tidal currents are moderate. This launch site is within short distance of more protected tributaries on the river.

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 Allens Lane
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 dirt parking for approximately 6 vehicles, gravel, 5 am - 10 pm

Restrooms

No

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 has a sand ramp that is suitable for soft launch only.

There are no camping amenities available. 

Trail History

During his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay in August 1608, Captain John Smith visited an American Indian community at the mouth of the Chester River which he referred to as “Ozinies.”  This site was most likely located in the vicinity of present-day Rock Hall.  Smith did not travel up the Chester River’s main stem, in part because the river offered little promise of providing the elusive “Northwest Passage” to the riches of the Orient.  However, Smith did chart the river’s mouth, Kent Island, and the forested interior of what would become Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.

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.

Rock Hall’s location at the mouth of the Chester River made it an important ferry landing for colonists traveling north and south in the 18th century, including George Washington.  Today, Rock Hall is a haven for working watermen and a busy hub for recreational boating, with several marinas and three public landings within the harbor.  The town is also known for its numerous festivals including Waterman’s Day, 4th of July Weekend, Fall Fest, and Pirates and Wenches Fantasy Weekend. 

Weather

Main image: Chris Cerino / Sultana Education Foundation