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Bald Eagles Abound at Buckingham Wharf

Buckingham Wharf is another launch site located within the farmlands of Kent County on the upper Chester River. Like other sites on the Chester, variable tides make this a prime location for canoes and kayaks. The banks along this stretch showcase farmland lined by marsh fringe. Birders may plan to keep an eye out for bald eagles and osprey, which can often be seen directly in front of the launch site.  Those looking to explore more of the river can paddle downstream about 3.5 miles to Chestertown. However, that stretch of river can be exposed to strong winds, so plan accordingly.

Things to Know

From the landing, it is 5 miles upstream to the boat ramp at Crumpton. In the other direction, it is only a 3.5 mile paddle to Chestertown, but this route can be exposed to strong winds. The river along these routes is characterized by agriculture and marsh fringe. 

Navigational Hazards

When paddling downstream from this landing, be aware that these waters can be exposed in strong southerly winds. Additionally, tidal currents can be moderate in this location but hugging the shoreline can reduce the effect of these. 

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 Buckingham 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

Ample, unmarked dirt 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 landing is for soft launch only. There is a dirt ramp from which to launch small vessels.

There are no camping amenities 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.