The weather is getting warmer and we’re dreaming of days out on the water. Paddleboarding and kayaking various bodies of water on Delmarva is one of our favorite activities. With so much water all around us, it’s easy to forget about all the options we have for launching and stick to a few of our favorites. We’ve done our best to categorize these by easy, still water paddles that are generally unaffected by wind conditions and harder paddles with more open water. Don’t be afraid to try the harder paddle locations, especially on days with less wind, as these could definitely fall within the easy category given the right conditions.
Trap Pond State Park
We love paddling among the baldcypress trees at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel. This park also has 3 canoe trails to follow. During the summer the park rents pedal boats and kayaks for a small fee. Entrance fee is required.
Perhaps you wouldn’t think of paddling within the metropolis of Salisbury, but we love to discover the nature hidden in the area. Enter this park on the south end, via Leonard Mill Drive where you’ll have access to the boat ramp. Paddle under the bridge where you’ll almost always find a colony of birds nested. As you head further down the branches of the pond you’ll get into wilder territory. We’ve even seen otters while paddling here. This ramp is free.
There are a number of places to launch along the Pocomoke River, but we love launching at Shad Landing, heading left and taking the canoe trail loop. If you go this way, the paddle starts easy, and has an ever-so-slightly more difficult stretch at the end. This ramp is free, and kayaks are available to rent for a small fee. We also like accessing the Pocomoke River from Pocomoke River Canoe Company in Snow Hill, where you can rent equipment.
Shell Mill Landing
This little launch in Bishopville has nice easy places to explore. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could paddle to the Isle of Wight and under the 90 bridge. This launch is free.
Accessing the Nanticoke River via the Cherry Beach boat ramp in Mardela Springs is a great way to enjoy a relaxing paddle. You’ll often find people boating in this area, enjoying warm, sunny days. This launch is free.
Chew Street Park
The easiest paddle in St. Michaels is to launch from Chew Street Park. As an added bonus you’ll see St. Michael’s famous covered bridge. If you need to rent a kayak or paddleboard you can do so from Shore Pedal & Paddle. This launch is free.
Going over the causeway to Chincoteague is beautiful with the maze of marshland surrounding you. We love exploring those marshes by launching at the Queen Sound Boat Ramp. We often spot birds doing a little fishing in this area. This ramp is free.
Janes Island State Park
Janes Island State Park in Crisfield lays on a canal. Cross the canal and paddle through the marshes to discover a private beach that used to be a popular retreat. This paddle isn’t as hard as others on the list, but there can be a bit of current working against you as you approach the beach. Kayaks can be rented on site for a small fee, but admission to the park is free.
Guard Shore in Saxis is a popular bay beach for locals in the summer, and we love visiting the little town. Drive down Hammock Road to find a boat ramp. There are a few small stretches of sand that are just a short paddle away to claim as your own for the day. This ramp is free.
In Ocean City, Northside Park is a great place to access the Assawoman Bay. Since there is not actually a boat ramp here and the parking lot is a bit of a walk from the kayak launch, we prefer renting our equipment. From May 1 to October 1 you can rent kayaks and paddleboards on site.
George Island Landing
When was the last time you drove through the tiny town of Stockton? We enjoy going to George Island Landing and imagining what it once was, a popular area to enjoy the beach. Today only a few houses and shanties remain. Kayak out and explore the wooded islands just off the coast. This ramp is free.
Holt’s Landing in Dagsboro is one of our favorite places to explore on foot on their nature trails, but we also love to paddle here. The coast in many areas is lined with sand, and we love the views of the Indian River Inlet Bridge. This ramp is free.
Assawoman Wildlife Refuge
We only recently discovered the vastness of Assawoman Wildlife Refuge in Frankford. This area is great for biking, but it’s also fun to paddle! The launch at the end of Mulberry Landing Road is free. Be sure to stop by the observation tower for a great view.
If you’re hoping to explore one of these areas that do not have rentals on site, consider renting from Rommel Hearth and Outdoor in Salisbury. Centrally located, you can rent kayaks or paddleboards, as well as the equipment needed to load it onto your car. Alternatively, there are many local outfitters with access to other areas that do not feature public boat ramps. Paddlers have so much to explore on Delmarva we couldn’t come close to covering them all, but we hope this list gives you a few ideas of places you haven’t yet explored.