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Gunpowder Basin in Maryland

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

We launched at the little canoe/Kayak launch just down from the main boat launch. Park and parking packed as it was Labor Day. The Canoe/Kayak launch is little more than a break in the woods along the water way. Easy in, easy out, with a portage from where you could stop to drop off of maybe 50 meters.

The water way you launch onto is an egress for all of the power boaters. Most seem to obey the 6 MPH/no wake requirements, but you may ship a little water if you catch an inconsiderate boater. More likely a problem are the jet ski crowd.

All that said, we had a pleasant enough transit on the way in and out. Beware the shore-side fisherman and their lines on the east side of the channel. Once out on the open water, we hugged the shoreline and turned west, following the first channel back to the north into the salt marsh. Took this all the way in as far as it went, it dead ends, where we circled around in the vicinity of Rumsey Island. There and back again about 8.4 kilometers, we did it at a leisurely pace in about an hour and a half.

Once back up in the channel, headed north; it was quiet and peaceful, we encountered two other paddlers and no one else. Saw many beautiful wild flowers and a wide variety of birds and vegetation, as well as a gorgeous hawk, and 5 terrapins sunning themselves on a log.

For those interested in the technical aspects, we used 12 foot Wilderness Pungos, and we wore PFDs. There is a fair bit of fetch on the open water in the basin, we had 5-10 Kts of wind, minimal chop, but it is easy to see that you'd have more on a windier day. We memorized the layout in Google Earth before we went, had absolutely no problems, but might take a GPS for further exploration. It can be easy to get turned around in the marsh.

Felt like we only scratched the tip of the iceberg for this area, we will definitely be back. Well worth the hours drive from home. Highly recommended.


Mariner park is a local park with boat launch, access to the basin, trails and picnic facilities. We spent our time on the water...




See Destination Report, the directions there were excellent!

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location