Trip Report: Exploring Chesapeake Bay by Kayak
There’s a ton to discover in Chesapeake Bay by kayak, whether you're getting there from Virginia, Maryland, or Delaware. It's a huge bay (the largest estuary in the U.S., in fact) with many launch and touring options. Here’s a roundup of the best locations to check out, including advice from a local on mining the best from Chesapeake Bay or as locals call it, Virginia’s River Realm.
Launch from a wharf that used to be used to load steamboat passengers in the 1800s, see historic homes built in the 1700s, go birding at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge, see pre-revolutionary war shipping checkpoints and more. Buckroe Beach and Park
Rarely crowded and offering excellent views of pristine white sand beaches as well as panoramas of the Atlantic, and ships coming and going, this is also a great spot to picnic, swim and bring the family. Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve
Discover the preserve with a self-guided tour or learn from an expert on the calm tidal brackish backwaters and expansive salt marsh of Hoffler Creek. Early Riser, Marsh Tour, Sunset, and Full Moon paddle tours happen regularly. After your paddle, check out 142 acres of riparian forest filled with pines and hardwoods, a meadow of native wildflowers and grasses.
Rose Haven Memorial Park
Eddyline enthusiast Bryan Waddell of Holland Point, Maryland, just 45 min south of Annapolis, says his hometown launch at Rose Haven is the best spot in a 100-mile radius to launch. He might be biased because it’s so close to his house but he says the wildlife is unforgettable including Osprey, Bald Eagles, and other waterfowl. Though he’s been rocking a Caribbean 14, he’s ready to switch it up to a more seaworthy Sitka XT
that will better accommodate his long legs.
Waddell shares his Eddyline Kayak upgrade plans, “I was stoked to snap up a Sitka XT as soon as one became available. I love the Caribbean 14
but with my long legs and utilizing the last adjustment on the foot pegs I wasn't comfortable for long periods of time. I also spend the majority of my time out on the Chesapeake Bay and want a boat that handles the chop better. I'm 6'2" and 250 (thanks COVID) so the roomier cockpit of the Sitka XT appeals to me. Eddyline customer service told me I should be able to get 2 extra inches (for my legs) of cockpit length with the Sitka XT vs the C14.”
If you head out east to explore the swamps, lagoons, grasslands, and forests of Chesapeake Bay, keep an eye out for Waddell. Give him a high five from your friends at Eddyline!
Have you seen the Eddyline Kayaks Owners Group on Facebook
? That’s where we found Bryan Waddell and his photos of Chesapeake Bay. You can share your photos and stories there for a chance to be featured on one of Eddyline’s Trip Report blogs!