your paddlesports destination

Blackwater Wildlife Refuge

Trip Overview

Started and ended from Shorters Wharf (listed here as Shorts Wharf -- but it's really Shorters) -- easily found by GPSing (located off of Maple Dam Road in Dorchester County, MD). There are several water trails to chose from. The water trail markers were either faded or gone (or we just missed them entirely). We followed the purple trail but note: that trail is "closed" in October/during waterfowl migration. Very likely to see bald eagles, herons, egrets, miscellaneous smaller birds, nutria. Good fishing as fish were literally jumping out of the water. From the launch, turn left and then follow which ever of the three water trails you chose. Plenty of parking at the launch point, and there's a sign providing an overview of the three water trails, places to note, etc. Phones can get a gps signal from the watertrail. Photos of the paddle can be found at Also portapotties are available at the launch point (which comes in handy).
  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Number of Portages: 0
Blackwater River current can be challenging, especially for beginner kayakers, but as you move into the smaller creek areas, is much less noticeable.

Locations on this Trip