Cart |

Chesapeake Bay in Virginia

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Chesapeake Bay paddle along coast of Mathews County Va.

Hand carry launch at Bethel Beach Nature Preserve. Hand carry is approximately 70 yards. This is best paddled during a west wind due to the open Chesapeake Bay. If there is a wind from the east it can become very rough. Wolf Trap lighthouse can be seen to the East on a clear day. The lighthouse is about 2.5 to 3 miles off shore. I paddled south along the shore toward Horn Harbor, which is about 4.5 miles away. New Point Comfort Light house can be seen in the distant to the south once you reach the entrance to Horn Harbor. This paddle is along predominately undeveloped beach area. Roughly 3 miles into the paddle is the entrance to Winter Harbor. Another 1.5 miles you are at the entrance of Horn Harbor. I turned back North and retraced my route passing Bethel Beach and paddled North toward Milford Haven with a final destination of Rigby Island. Approximately 2 miles north of Bethel Beach is Rigby Island. Rigby Island is a narrow barrier island off the north east shore of Mathews county with its north tip approaching Gywnns Island. At Rigby Island there are good views of the open expanse of the Chesapeake Bay. I then retraced my route back south to Bethel Beach. Approximate total distance is 13 to 14 miles.

Use caution and watch the weather due to the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay.


No facilities past Mathews Courthouse


Take Rt 14 to Mathews courthouse. Pass through the Courthouse area. After approximately 4 miles is Port Haywood. Turn left Rt 608. Approximately 2.5 miles turn left on Rt 609 approximately 3 mile to Bethel Beach parking area. Parking is limited.


USGS Quads Mathews Va and USGS quad New Point Comfort

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: Open Water/Ocean

Trip Location