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RiverPalooza: Mallows Bay (Ghost Fleet) Paddle

August 20 @ 8:30 AM 11:30 AM

(No Rain Date Available)

canoe fallen construction
canoes mallows bay

Join your Potomac Riverkeeper, Atlantic Kayak and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for Get Into Your Sanctuary Weekend! This is a one-of-a-kind, guided interpretive paddle through our country’s newest National Marine Sanctuary, Mallows Bay! Learn about the amazing history of the Ghost Fleet on the Potomac. Dr. Susan Langley, State Underwater Archaeologist with the Maryland Historical Trust will provide an overview of the history of Mallows Bay and explain its unique features and ecological importance as we paddle through the eerie hulls of the Ghost Fleet. Within the small bay in Southern Maryland, about 30 miles south of Washington, DC, lie hundreds of shipwrecks, most of them from World War I. In July 2019 the NOAA designated Mallows Bay on the Potomac River as a new National Marine Sanctuary.

canoes ghost fleet

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. Come support Potomac Riverkeeper and partners by celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act!  Please consider signing up to paddle for clean water to support fifty years of clean water progress and the goals of “fishable, swimmable” waterways so future generations can continue to enjoy the Potomac River and cultural resources like Mallows Bay.

Trip Details

Lead Riverkeeper: Dean Naujoks – (336) 809-6041 or dean@potomacriverkeeper.org

Arrival Location:
Mallows Bay Park
1440 Wilson Landing Road
Nanjemoy, MD

Arrival/Check-in Time: 8:00 AM
Launch Time: 9:00am
Anticipated Take-out Time: 12:00 PM
Paddle Distance: 3 miles/2.5 hour loop
Skill Level: Beginners are welcome but should have paddling experience 
Outfitter: Atlantic Kayak

Boat Options and Costs:

  • Kayak: $100 per person/per seat. Please note that we only use Tandem Kayaks at Mallows Bay for safety purposes. No individual kayaks are available.
  • (NOTE: BYOB (Bring Your Own Boat) is NOT available for this paddle.)

Included with each registration:

  • Paddling Guides (First Aid and CPR Certified)
  • Interpretive Guide
  • rental kayak or tandem kayak, PFD and paddle 
  • PRKN Clean Water Act 50th anniversary commemorative t-shirt

Participant Limit: 24 People

Note:  Rentals are only available to adults or children 12 years and older who are accompanied by an adult.

How to sign up:

Two waivers must be signed online (in advance) for you to be registered

ACA waiver

Outfitter waiver –  Participant Rental waiver (print and bring with you)

Also to do in advance:

What to Bring:

  • Packed lunch
  • Reusable water bottle (please no plastic bottles or glass)
  • Wear proper footwear. NO FLIP-FLOPS. Old gym shoes, sandals with a strap, and water shoes work great
  • Sunscreen, hat and rain gear
  • Snacks and drinking water (no glass bottles)
  • Change of clothes
  • Dry Bag or Waterproof Container (if you bring a phone or a non-waterproof camera, you need a way to protect it)
  • If you plan to fish, bring a valid fishing license for the waters you would be fishing.

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