Just across the Potomac from Quantico Marine Base is the largest shipwreck fleet in the Northern Hemisphere. Today, the remains of some 169 World War I-era wooden steamships lie in the shallows of Mallows Bay, along with many other derelict vessels of all kinds dating from the late 18th century through the 1980s, including a great seagoing car ferry named Accomac, 12 barges, a possible Revolutionary War longboat, several 19th-century log canoes and schooners, a North Carolina menhaden boat, and miscellaneous workboats.
You can find more information and pictures of Mallows Bay here and here.
We'll be staying at Smallwood State Park in MD. Plan to arrive Friday evening to set up camp.
Saturday morning we will plan to leave the campsite by 9 so we can head for the Bay. Plan to bring a picnic lunch and we'll find a nice beach to eat at. We may explore further up or down river, time and tides permitting. There are two paddling options for this trip: Experienced kayakers can launch from the ramp at the marina next door and paddle about 9 miles down the the bay. Beginner or lazy paddlers (like me!) can drive a few miles to the ramp right at the bay.
Saturday Evening we will hold our traditional Pot Luck Dinner. If you are interested in contributing, please list what you plan to bring in the comments below.
Sunday morning, plan to visit the Bay again, but this time to paddle downriver to the cliffs. We will paddle a mile or two to Purse State Park to dig for fossils. Last year we found a TON of great fossil shark and ray teeth, fossil snails, and more. A small trowel and a ziploc bag or container for your finds are recommended.
I will be staying through Monday, so there is a possibility of a short Monday paddle depending on how lazy we are feeling. :)
Smallwood Park has fifteen family campsites with electric hook-ups available under the canopy of a hardwood forest. Four camper cabins sleep four and two cabins sleep six and have heat and air conditioning. Cabins #17 and #18 overlook Mattawoman Creek. Cabins #16 and #19 are close to the creek, but do not have a water view. Cabins #20 and #21 are located as you first enter the campground area. A picnic table, lantern post and fire ring are provided on each site. Bath house facilities with hot showers are also provided.
MAP OF CAMPGROUND
IMPORTANT - Because of the small size of the campground, it is STRONGLY recommended you book your site as soon as possible, otherwise you may not be able to reserve a site. Sites can hold up to 6 campers, so sharing is recommended. Book your site ASAP. I am on site #8.
While Mallows Bay should be suitable for all levels, be prepared to paddle with wind and tides. PFDs are REQUIRED.
It's July, folks. The mosquitos will be as large as volkswagens, so bring LOTS of insect repellent, sunscreen and water.
We also recommend a brimmed hat, sunglasses, and binoculars.
If you are not camping, but plan to meet us for a day paddle, the Mallows Bay Launch address is 1440 Wilson Landing Road, Nanjemoy, MD 20662.
Important: The Delaware Valley Kayakers collects no dues and assumes no responsibility.
NOTICE: By attending an event you are agreeing that YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AT ALL TIMES. No member of the group EXCEPT YOURSELF can be held responsible for any damages, accidents, or liabilities incurred while paddling with us.
Paddling is an inherently dangerous sport. Information is provided with the understanding that the providers are not engaged in rendering advice on technical matters, equipment performance, safety, or any other aspect of the sport in absolute terms or advocating any of the techniques or experiences described.