Trip Ideas

Off The Beaten Path

Franklin Point’s beauty plain as the eye can see

by T.F. Sayles June 26, 2017

In Walter Neitzey’s four decades as a flight instructor and operator of Deep Creek Airport on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay 10 miles south of Annapolis, he probably never once looked down from his cockpit at the bucolic airfield below and thought it might some day be part of a nice state park.

That is to be expected; the future is hard to see, even from the air.

The recent past, on the…

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Off The Beaten Path

Paddling on the Sassafras River shows off the Bay that was

by Timothy Wheeler September 12, 2016

If Capt. John Smith could come back to retrace his Chesapeake journeys in the early 1600s, he might find portions of Foreman Creek much as he saw it four centuries ago.

On this murky tributary of the Sassafras River, trees hug the shores, and lush green beds of wild rice blanket the shallows. While paddling it recently on a kayak excursion organized and guided by the Sultana Education Foundation, I saw…

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Off The Beaten Path

Alone among ‘The Ancients’

by Tom Horton August 15, 2016

Paddling "rivertops," the flowing streams that give rise to the Bay's grander, tidal rivers, can be an improbably wild and intimate experience. Often, when you go back and pull up where you were on Google Earth, you discover it was an illusory wilderness, only the narrowest of green corridors through surrounding farmland and development.

But if only for a few hours, such places grant a memorable respite from the increasingly domesticated Chesapeake…

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Off The Beaten Path

Paddling the Pocomoke: Tour of swamp to Chesapeake takes you back in time

by Tom Horton July 25, 2016

The good news for Chesapeake adventurers is that the Bay has a lifetime of waterfront to explore, about 11,000 miles if we include its tidal rivers and islands. Unfortunately, only about 2 percent of these land-water edges, which contain so much of the Bay’s beauty, fish and wildlife, include public access.

Only by boat, preferably small craft adept at navigating the estuary’s extensive shallows and nosing up its countless creeky inlets, can you…

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Off The Beaten Path

Upper Chester reverie

by Tom Horton June 27, 2016

I've paddled the length and breadth of the Chesapeake for days on end, the ocean coasts of Maryland and Virginia too. But sometimes all one wants is an easy day trip, no worries about wind or tide, just a few hours to meander by canoe or kayak.

The uppermost five or six miles of the Chester River, between the Maryland Eastern Shore villages of Crumpton and Millington, filled the bill dandily on a…

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Off The Beaten Path

The Upper Chickahominy River

by Leslie Middleton May 16, 2016

As my kayak slipped quietly into the Chickahominy River in Virginia one early spring morning, my mind was on a winter day in 1607. 

In December of that year, Capt. John Smith — a leader from the English colony at Jamestown — launched a canoe into this river from an Indian settlement near present-day Providence Forge. Smith traveled with a handful of men, including two Indian guides, hoping to find the source of the river…

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