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Wye Island in Maryland

by  judiski

A self-supported trip created by judiski

Trip Overview

Even though the weather forecast was for winds between 10-15 miles per hour this beautiful fall day was too tempting to not kayak. With the wind from the SW we chose to put in on the eastern end of the island at the end of Wye Landing Rd. knowing the wind would be behind us on the home stretch.

As usual the parking lot was parked full of boats and trailers, but there was plenty of room to unload and just a short walk to where we had to park the car. This is a Talbot County boat ramp and we have a county sticker, however it is probably only necessary if you're trailering your boat.

From the ramp we crossed the East Wye River and went around the south east end of the island to check the wind. On the south side the wind was blowing quite hard and the prospect of starting the day with a long slog into the wind wasn't appealing. Instead we went back around the east end and turned left into Wye Narrows. By remaining in the leeward side of the island we were more protected while paddling through the Narrows. There were a few crabbers and fishermen out but otherwise boat traffic was at a minimum most of the day.

After approximately 4 miles the Wye River enters from the north and you turn left down the western side of the island. This was quite a run into the wind but our Wilderness Systems Tarpon 160is handled this with ease. A GPS and map are important as there are a number of large coves and creeks on the island.

We found a quiet cove protected from the wind for lunch and discovered we were sharing this with two bald eagles. They put on quite a show before leaving the cove to us.

On the northern and western side of the island there are numerous beaches and protected areas for putting ashore. An entire day could be spent investigating the coves etc. on the western end. However because we were circumventing the island we moved on after lunch.

Once around the south western point of the island, where a lighthouse can be seen in the distance, the wind was at our back and made for an easy paddle the remainder of the trip. Be aware there are fewer good landing spots on the south side of the island. This section has narrow beaches with high eroded banks. While standing on one of these beaches we were completed swamped by a large boat going too fast, too close.

Birds were in abundance on this trip. There were several eagle sightings, flocks of gulls and terns floating on the water and several large flocks of geese overhead.

Our GPS read exactly 15 miles when we returned to Wye Landing. On a summer weekend this trip would probably have an excessive amount of boat traffic. However, we have found this a delightful place to paddle in the spring and fall.


Restaurants and hotels along Rt. 50.


Talbot County parking fee, but may not be necessary if boat is on racks.


U.S. Rt. 50 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Bear right towards Ocean City and then follow the signs to Wye Mills. Go through Wye Mills and turn right on Wye Landing Rd. Ramp is at end of road, with parking along road.

Trip Details

  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location