RiverPalooza–Mallows Bay Ghost Fleet Float with Chesapeake Conservancy


Join your Potomac Riverkeeper, The Chesapeake Conservancy and REI for a guided and interpretive paddle to learn about the history of the Ghost Fleet. Dr. Susan Langley, Maryland State Underwater Archaeologist, will provide an overview of the history of Mallows Bay and explain its unique features and ecological importance. Within the small bay in Southern Maryland, about 30 miles south of Washington, DC, lie hundreds of shipwrecks dating back to the Revolutionary War. Most of them are from World War I. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently declared its intent to designate Mallows Bay on the Potomac River, as a new National Marine Sanctuary. Mallows Bay, one of the largest assemblages of historic shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere, is known as the “Ghost Fleet” of the Potomac. Surrounding the bay are sandy bluffs topped with trees, which provide magnificent roosts for bald eagles. Marshy tributaries rich in wildlife provide a quiet counterpart to the historic wreckage. The historic Bay is located along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail.

We’ve sold out! We hope you can join us on another paddle this summer.


Outfitter: REI

Arrival Location: 1440 Wilson Landing Rd. Nanjemoy, MD 20662.

Arrival Time: 10:30 AM on water by 12:00 PM, off water approximately 3:30 PM.

Paddle Level/Distance: Beginner, 3 miles.

Paddle Options and Cost: 

  • 30 spots total. $100 per person for all equipment and 4 instructors plus box lunch (sandwich, chips, cookies, pickle) (Valued at $125 per person).
  • Bring Your Own Boat (BYOB): $35 plus lunch if ordering through REI.

Follow us on social media at #RiverPalooza2017

EVERY PADDLE PARTICIPANT must print, fill out and bring their ACA waiver with them on the day of the event. Depending on your trip, you may also need to bring an outfitter waiver. Please see your confirmation email for details.

 ACATripWaiver_adult   ACATripWaiver_minor

Free RiverPalooza T-shirt to first 10 registrants!

Participant Limit is 30 people. Registration deadline is June 21st.

Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for the safety and enjoyment of participants who wish to attend. Trip times are subject to change or cancellation due to inclement weather, high river levels, tidal fluctuations, wind and other factors that could jeopardize safety and enjoyment of participants. Unfortunately, there can be no refunds. Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for any personal property that may be lost, damaged, or stolen during the trip. Potomac Riverkeeper Network is not responsible for limited camping, outfitter service, lengthy paddle distances, late start times and uncontrollable weather that could potentially prohibit/limit our ability to provide an enjoyable and safe paddling experience.

RiverPalooza is a Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Series event, presented nationally by Toyota and locally by the National Park Service and MOM’s Organic Market.