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Exploring “Porcupine Quills” Island from Broadneck Road

The public landing at Broadneck Road is located conveniently between the east and west forks of Langford Creek, making this a great place from which to explore either side. These forks offer miles of exploration; each one extends for nearly 5 miles. Meanwhile, paddlers can also choose to head south for half a mile into Langford Creek. There you will find Cacaway Island, a privately-owned piece of land that paddlers and boaters are discouraged from stopping on but which may serve as a good spot for viewing wildlife. This island was once connected to the mainland; at certain times a sandbar reaching toward the mainland can still be seen. In 1650, Lord Baltimore granted Cacaway to John Langford, along with 1,500 acres of the land to which it was once attached. It was called Langford’s Neck, before later becoming known as Broad Neck.

Langford’s land changed hands more than a dozen times over the years. At one point it was divided into smaller parts and leased. In 1810, Cacaway Farm was built at the tip of Broad Neck, and Cacaway Island may have been a part of this property. Another anecdotal tale has James Haddaway, the owner sometime around 1860, losing the island in a poker game.  While Cacaway Island plays no pivotal role in Chesapeake history, it still serves to connect specific inhabitants of the eastern shore each other and the land. It may even have a tie to the Native Americans, as Cacaway is thought to have come from the Algonquian word for “porcupine quills”.

Things to Know

This is an ideal place to explore both the east and west branches of Langford Creek. Both forks extend for about 5 miles. Another option is to head into Langford Creek proper to explore Cacaway Island. This is located half a mile downstream from the landing. From the landing it is also 3 miles to the Chester River, where there is plenty more to explore (though this route should only be attempted in calm conditions). 

Navigational Hazards

Langford Creek is moderately exposed to wind, but paddlers should find no major problems. Those venturing toward Cacaway Island or toward the lower Chester River should be aware that these areas are more exposed and take appropriate caution. As with any paddle trip, be mindful of the weather before putting in here. 

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 Broadneck 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

Side of the road parking for up to 6 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 no ramp from which to launch larger motorized vessels. This area is well-known for its excellent crabbing and fishing.

There are no camping amenities at this site.

Trail History

Prior to the arrival of European settlers, American Indians inhabited the waters of the Chester River for over 10,000 years.  The river was teeming with fish, oysters, waterfowl, wild game, and edible wetland plants that provided all of the food needed to establish thriving communities.  Settlements were generally located at the heads of creeks or springs, with populations ranging from a few families to several hundred residents.  Ancient oyster middens, or trash piles, can still be seen eroding from the riverbanks where these American Indian settlements once stood.


Main image: Chris Cerino / Sultana Education Foundation