Over 20 miles long, the Sassafras River traces the shores of Maryland’s Cecil and Kent counties before reaching its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay between Howell Point and Grove Point. The tributary begins near the town of Sassafras, where the heavily wooded corridor features shallow water and the average width is only around 20 feet. After passing under the Route 301 Bridge, the river widens and the landscape transitions from woodland to farmland with a few residential communities interspersed along the way.
The twin ports of Georgetown and Fredericktown dominate the scenery downriver of the Route 213 Bridge, with both communities serving as busy centers for recreational boating. Between Turner’s Creek and the mouth of the Sassafras, dramatic cliffs line both sides of the river. The forested cliffs provide ideal habitat for nesting bald eagles, and the birds can often be spotted soaring overhead.
Despite its relatively small size, the Sassafras is a popular destination for powerboats, paddle craft, and workboats. As such, it can be especially busy on weekends from May through October. For paddlers seeking peace and quiet, the Sassafras offers numerous creeks whose shallow waters are accessible by only the smallest vessels.
Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! 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 such trails. The Chesapeake Conservancy, National Park Service, and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials.
Dawn to Dusk
Safety is your responsibility. However, if you choose to explore the Sassafras River, make sure you have the appropriate boating skills before setting out and always use good judgement.