Water Trails

With over 500 miles of creeks, tidal inlets and open water, paddlers have lots of choices.

Put in from our public launch sites or try one of our established trails. Some of the trail routes are in protected areas with moderate wind and current conditions and are best for novices and families. Other trails, such as those that traverse the open waters of the Potomac River, provide more challenging paddling conditions suitable for experienced paddlers.

Western Potomac River Area

Guide to Water Trails in Western St. Mary’s County

Get all the trails below in one guide. Although this guide was designed primarily for those touring by kayak and canoe, it also includes information on public boating access points in the area and amenities. This guide is printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper.

Wicomico River Trail: Wicomico Shores Landing to Bushwood Wharf


McIntosh Run Trail: Port of Leonardtown Park to Abell's Wharf


Upper St. Mary's River Trail: Great Mills Launch to St. Mary's City


Herring Creek Loop Trail: Tall Timbers Landing and Herring Creek


Piney Point Creek Trail: Piney Pt. Lighthouse Museum and Park Loop Trail


St. Inigoes Trails: St. Inigoes Landing, Smith Creek, Jutland Creek, and Kitts Point Loop Trails


Pick up the Guide: St. Mary’s County Welcome Center in Charlotte Hall or the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum & Visitor Center.
Order guide: 1-800-327-9023

Lower Potomac River/Point Lookout Area

Guide to Point Lookout Water Trails

The Point Lookout water trails are located at Point Lookout State Park - the southernmost tip of St. Mary’s County where the Potomac River meets the Chesapeake Bay. The guide provides detailed information on access sites and paddling routes along the Lower Potomac River, Point Lookout Creek, and the Chesapeake Bay. This map features three different water trails in the southern part of the county including: Greens Point, Heron Alley, and the Lighthouse Trail. The trails average about 3 miles each with a variety of paddling experiences that range from an hour or two to all-day excursions with overnight camping options. In addition to the water trail routes, the water trail map/guide also provides information on special features and points of interest on the Point Lookout peninsula. The map is printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper.

Pick-up the Guide: Point Lookout State Park visitor center
Order Guide: 1-800-327-9023

Patuxent River Area

Guide to Patuxent River Water Trail

The Patuxent River is approximately 110 miles long and is the largest river, completely within the state boundary of Maryland. The river corridor is rich in scenic beauty, wildlife, history. Many public parks and launching sites for recreational boating provide additional access for visitors to enjoy the river’s resources. The trail runs through Saint Mary’s, Charles, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Calvert Counties The route begins in southern Calvert County and ends in the Triadelphia Reservoir in Montgomery County. Greenwell State Park in St. Mary’s County is on the route. The trail distance is approximately 80 miles. The Patuxent River is the longest river that flows entirely within the State of Maryland. Scenery around the Patuxent ranges from rich marshlands to lush fields, rural landscapes and suburban growth and locations of archaeological and historical significance. The Patuxent River Water Trail map highlights points of interest and launch sites along the river. Waterproof.

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Whatever your level of paddling expertise, remember to plan ahead for your journey and follow paddling safety tips.