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Murderkill River in Delaware

Trip Overview

The river is at South Bower's Beach, cement launch clearly marked as 'Small Boat Launch'. Timing the tide is beneficial to get the most out of this paddle... flow is mild but helpful (faster at put-in). A Hot (90+ degrees) and Humid day, the river offered little 'relief' with NO TRESPASSING FOR ANY REASON signs through out, so be sure to have snacks, water and other needed items at easy reach. Also, a spray skirt, long sleeve shirt and hat are recommended as there are pesty biting flies, with these precautions no actual BITES happened. The river meandered through farmland + wooded/marsh. The variation in wildlife was amazing... more kinds of birds than I knew. One highlight was several viewings of one or more Bald Eagles, trying to rob nests of smaller birds and being chased away. A peaceful, calming experience. There were more dragon-flies + Blue Heron than I've EVER seen in 1 place. Fish jumping, crabs on the shorelines and a too quick glimpse of a furry animal scurrying away as I approached. I paddled just past RT 1 and noticed there were no pesty flies after the overpass making the paddle even more relaxing. The return trip, made with the tide change offered a memorable viewing of a Sting ray, swimming slowly against the tide, I'm guessing feeding on the feeder fish heading downstream. A Total success of a paddle! The only other precaution is to not open widows to your car, if possible. Those pesty biting flies are everywhere and WILL get in your car for the ride home :(




RT 1, at Little Heaven take Bower's Beach Rd (east). Take right to Cliffton Cubbage Dr, then left on Murderkill Ave. Be sure to use the Public Small Boat Launch (there are several launches). There is ample free parking.


Google maps, Weather forecasting and Tide Charts (all on-line)
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip