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Shipyard Landing

This landing is one that gets heavy traffic from June through October, due to the fact that it puts boaters on the prime crabbing grounds of the lower Chester River. Shipyard Landing is located at the head of the West Fork of Langford Creek, a major tributary that meets up with the lower Chester River about three miles south of the landing near Cacaway Island.

The area of Langford Creek was certainly once inhabited by Native Americans. Three Indian villages are indicated on a 1670 map of the area done by Augustine Herrman. He called the water “Lanncefords Creek”. Meanwhile, physical evidence of habitation exists in the form of several oyster shell middens discovered by archaeologists on the creek’s shores. Paddlers looking for more to explore can venture to the east fork of Langford after passing Cacaway. The area is rich with historic land to explore and history to uncover.

Things to Know

Shipyard Landing is located near the head of the west fork of Langford Creek. From here it is about three miles to Cacaway Island. This is a good place to then explore the east fork of Langford Creek, which extends for five additional miles. 

Navigational Hazards

This landing is well-protected from wind due to its location at the head of Langford Creek. Those wishing to head downstream toward Cacaway Island should be more aware of moderate tidal currents as well as slightly more exposure to wind.

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 Shipyard 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

Marked, paved parking for up to 20+ vehicles, 5 am - 10 pm


Seasonal portable toilets


  • 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 has a concrete boat ramp and a soft launch to launch all types of vessels. There is a bulkhead on site for loading and unloading.

There are no camping amenities on 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.

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.


Main image: Chris Cerino / Sultana Education Foundation