Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and follow all current directives from your governor and local health officials about wearing face masks and physical distancing.

Alt text


Wilmer Park: Highway to History

With all the modern amenities you could want coupled with the historic charm of 18th century waterfront homes, the launch at Wilmer Park is a perfect location for families, experienced paddlers, and history buffs alike. The cement ramp at this site allows quick, easy access to the Chester River immediately in front of Chestertown, where historic brick mansions line the waterfront and provide a glimpse into what life looked like in the colonial United States.

Chestertown was important as a bustling center of commerce in the years before the American Revolution. Paddlers can use this launch site to explore one of the busiest parts of the Chester River, which served as a colonial highway and promoted economic growth in the 18th century. Those looking for a more serene route can head for Radcliffe Creek, a forested stretch of water located about half a mile downriver from the landing.

Things to Know

This site is a great place from which to explore Radcliffe Creek. The entrance is located about half a mile downriver from the dock, and features  scenery like freshwater marshes, forested shorelines, and unique views of the church spires rising above Chestertown.

Heading upriver it is just 2.5 miles to the mouth of Morgan Creek, though the Chester River is exposed to wind and should be paddled only on calm days. From this landing, it is 8.5 miles to Crumpton.

Navigational Hazards

This put-in site is located on the open waters of the Chester River; be aware of boat traffic, especially during warm weather months. Also pay attention to the wind; beginners should avoid paddling this location if there is a strong southerly 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:
413 South Cross Street
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

Paved, marked spaces for up to 30+ vehicles, 2 ADA spaces


Year-round portable toilet


  • 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 has a soft launch from which to launch small vessels by hand. The park is waterfront and located near historic downtown Chestertown, with areas to picnic or relax. There is a pavilion, a gazebo, picnic tables, benches, and a walking trail.

There are no camping amenities on site.

Trail History

Founded in 1706 as one of six original Royal Ports of Entry, Chestertown is one of the best-preserved colonial seaports in the United States. In the latter half of the 18th century, grain shortages in Europe allowed Chestertown’s merchants to ship local foodstuffs abroad for tremendous profits. The grandiose brick mansions they constructed still line the river today. In the 21st century, Chestertown’s scenic waterfront, brick-lined streets, and plentiful shops make it a popular tourist destination. The schooner Sultana is a full-scale reproduction of a 1768 topsail schooner used historically to enforce British taxes in colonial waters in the years preceding the American Revolution. Constructed by professional shipwrights and volunteers in Chestertown, Maryland, the modern Sultana provides educational programs to 5,000 students each year focusing on colonial history and environmental science. 


Main image: Chris Cerino / Sultana Education Foundation