Pitts Creek. Photo by Travis J. McCleish

Pitts Landing

Pitts Landing in New Church, Virginia is located just below the Maryland/Virginia border, six miles west of Route 13 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The historic landing is on the tidal Pocomoke River adjacent to Pitts Creek, both of which flow into Pocomoke Sound of the Chesapeake Bay.  Pitts Landing is on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and features a handicapped accessible kayak/canoe launch site. The pristine waters of Pitts Creek are a natural habitat for waterfowl, shore birds and fish, remaining much as it was when Captain John Smith explored these waters in 1608.

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Image Credit: Travis J. McCleish


Pitts Landing is open from sunrise to sunset daily, 365 days a year.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


There are no fees for use of the landing and its facilities.


Pitts Landing is a fairly remote site that offers the visitor a rare glimpse into what Captain John Smith’s eyes captured of the New World over four centuries ago.  Although remote and unmanned, it offers many water related activities to include kayaking/canoeing, boating, bird watching, and fishing.


On June 5, 1608, Captain John Smith and his crew explored the Wighcocomoco (later known as the Pocomoke) River in search of fresh water to replenish their dwindling supply.  Their initial encounter with the Wiccocomicos was hostile but a peaceful conclusion was reached and Smith continued the search for palatable fresh water inland.  With no sustaining fresh water source found, the Smith exploration party returned to “Wighcocomoco Town” and remained overnight to share in the hospitality of the Wiccocomico leader.  On the following day, graced with a fair wind and tide, Smith and his party departed this area and headed West once in the Bay to continue their exploration of the Chesapeake Bay.


Last updated: July 08, 2022
Captain John Smith Chesapeake Trail