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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.
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.
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.
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:
Launch site address:
End of Allens Lane
Rock Hall, MD 21661
UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown
100 Brown St
Chestertown, MD 21620
Chester River Hospital Center
6602 Church Hill Rd #300
Chestertown, MD 21620
Side of the road dirt parking for approximately 6 vehicles, gravel, 5 am - 10 pm
This site has a sand ramp that is suitable for soft launch only.
There are no camping amenities available.
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.