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Stepping into History at Centreville Public Landing

Visitors to Centreville will find a charming blend of old and new in a small town that revels in its historic pride as much as it continues to grow with the times. Centreville was founded in 1794 and eventually became a busy port for shipping agricultural products to Baltimore, Norfolk, and ports even further down along the Atlantic coast. Today it is still home to a number of historic buildings. The Queen Anne’s County courthouse, for example, was built in 1792 and is the oldest courthouse in continuous use in Maryland. The Tucker House dates back to 1792, while Wrights Chance is a plantation house built in 1741. Though Centreville has experienced some recent population growth, and new housing developments to go along with it, the town continues to preserve its historic identity. As new local businesses crop up, they continue to use and repurpose historic spaces, maintaining much of the town as it once was.

Centreville is located at the head of the Corsica River, and this public landing likewise puts paddlers directly onto this tributary of the Chester River. Paddlers can reach the head of the Corsica by paddling upstream for about 1.5 miles to Millstream Park. Downstream, the Corsica winds for 5 miles before emptying in the Chester River. Along the way, the river widens alongside a scenic mix of private residences, wooded shorelines, and large farms that are so endemic to the area.

Things to Know

From this landing in the Corsica River, one option is to head upstream for about 1.5 miles; here paddlers will reach the Corsica's head of navigation at Millstream Park. Downstream, the Corsica offers five more miles of paddling to explore on the way to the Chester River. The place where the two rivers meet offers sandy beaches for a nice stop. For a bit of a shorter paddle, Emory's Creek is located 3 miles downstream from the landing at Centreville and offers a bitt more to explore. 

Navigational Hazards

Centreville Landing is well-protected with few hazards for paddlers to encounter; however be aware that those looking to explore upstream from the landing may require a high tide.

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:
201 Front Street
Centreville, MD  21617

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

Paved, marked parking for approximately 15 vehicles


Seasonal restrooms (April-November)


  • 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 from which to launch vessels.

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.

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. 


Main image: Chris Cerino / Sultana Education Foundation