addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupsimageimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruseryahoo

Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

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.

Join or login to comment.

  • Rick

    Great weekend paddle

    July 16, 2013

  • Rick

    The weather was a questionable, but had a Great time exploring the ships and butterfly bay.

    July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you folks have any pictures of the shark fossils that you can put up, we'd love to see them! I am glad all enjoyed themselves in that unique area.

    July 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I just posted a picture of some of the shark and ray teeth fossils Rick and I found.

      July 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Just saw it - I would certainly respect the owner of those teeth if I was on the water. Thank you for sharing.

      July 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great river access and interesting wildlife. The fossil hunting was awesome.

    July 15, 2013

  • Liz D.

    Really interesting story behind these shipwrecks. Lots of bird life too.

    July 15, 2013

  • Janet H.

    Had a great time! Enjoyed meeting everyone!

    July 15, 2013

  • Denise D

    We had an amazing time, perfect weather and you know you had one heck of adventure when you come home with a hospital bracelet on your wrist! Kudos to the entire group for everything they are and did. Thank you, I love these humans! I love Magic the service dog who also sat by my side until the EMT was brought in.

    July 15, 2013

  • N H.

    Not gonna make the potluck, sunburned and pooped

    July 13, 2013

  • Larry L.

    Sorry all, Weather forecast does not favor this outing for tomorrow. Won't be here for this one. Perhaps it'll be scheduled again.

    July 12, 2013

  • N H.

    Liz and I leaving before dawn to get there for launch! See y'all soon!

    July 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well, we hit the road in the pouring rain...then checked the forecast for down there... turned around. Too iffy for such a long drive.

    July 12, 2013

    • Meri

      It's lovely and cool here now. Forecast for tomorrow and Sunday is good as well! You're missing out!

      1 · July 12, 2013

  • Denice

    Sorry I cannot attend..my ride (Tim) doesn't like the rain :(

    July 12, 2013

  • Denise D

    I misspoke on the appetizers a little. They are jalapeno peppers stuffed with cheeses, wrapped in thin-sliced chicken breast, then wrapped in bacon and grilled with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce.

    July 11, 2013

    • Paul

      Everything Denise makes is tasty...especially her pulled pork that she made for our trip in May.

      1 · July 12, 2013

  • Larry L.

    Any size restrictions for boats on this trip?

    July 12, 2013

    • Meri

      I would say 12 feet and larger are best.

      July 12, 2013

  • Meri

    Looking forward to this trip! Just ordered a sieve set for the fossil hunting portion of the trip!

    1 · July 3, 2013

    • Denise D

      Thanks for the reminder! Last time I was there I used a sieve and it made it much better.

      July 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Still looking to paddle tomorrow if anyone interested.

    July 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Already have macaroni salad packed and hot dogs.

    July 11, 2013

  • Janet H.

    Bringing Macaroni salad, I'll put it together on Sat.

    July 11, 2013

  • Meri

    I have hotdogs and rolls for the potluck.

    July 11, 2013

    • Meri

      And plates!

      July 11, 2013

  • Nikki

    Pet sitter plans went awry.Need to cancel.

    July 11, 2013

  • Marc G.

    I can't make this trip. But it's *great* to learn about Mallows Bay and this park.

    July 11, 2013

  • Rick

    Meri, Did I see the camp sites Have a electric at each of the campsites

    July 10, 2013

    • Meri

      I believe most, if not all, have electric

      July 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    1. Meri, that would be great! I'll use my Loon for touring and the Scrambler for play. I can take it home on my trailer.

    2. Will there be a campfire? I have a good supply of firewood and can use my Loon to transport.

    3. There is always a concern about potato salad and summer picnics, so, instesd, I will bring my newest specialty, Pulled Pork.

    4. Denice and I have room on our site #5 for another tent.

    July 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think I will have Friday off and am wondering if anyone is interested in pre-camping kayaking during the day on Friday.

    July 8, 2013

    • Anita B.

      Jim - I plan to be there Friday.

      July 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Would you like to paddle before check in? I am not familiar enough with the area to know where to launch other than to meet at the campground and go from there. I will be staying about 40 minutes away and should be able to get there any time on Friday.

      July 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone have room for a little two man tent?
    My potato salad usually goes over pretty well, so I'll bring that

    June 29, 2013

    • Steve

      Tim.....can you share your site?

      July 1, 2013

    • Anita B.

      Hey Timmy - glad you're on the trip. We'll be neighbors.

      July 10, 2013

  • Anita B.

    I'm bringing an air conditioner for my tent !!

    July 10, 2013

  • Meri

    Hey Tim, shall I bring the watermelon boat with me?

    July 9, 2013

  • Liz D.

    I'll bring something like cheese, fruit, dip and chips since I don't have a big cooler.

    July 8, 2013

  • Steve

    Can anyone share a site?

    July 1, 2013

  • Denise D

    As far as the Saturday night dinner, I am dying to try a new recipe of cheese filled, bacon wrapped, barbeque sauce marinated jalapeno peppers. So that is what I will do.

    June 26, 2013

  • Joe H

    family obligations will pull me away

    June 22, 2013

  • Janet H.

    Denise and I will be sharing site #6

    1 · June 21, 2013

  • Janet H.

    I just reserved site # 6 they allow 2 tents and 2 cars on the site . cost is $68. I am willing to share.

    June 20, 2013

    • Janet H.

      Got cut off We can split cost at site. It is #6

      1 · June 20, 2013

    • Denise D

      Perfect! Thanks. Looking forward to it.

      June 20, 2013

  • Denise D

    Can anyone share a site? I would love to be there. This group is always a lot of fun.

    June 2, 2013

    • Denise D

      Steve!!! No, no, no, I cannot be trusted behind zippered doors!

      June 19, 2013

    • Denise D

      I snore, talk and spoon in my sleep.

      June 19, 2013

  • Steve

    Lol.......so who wants to share a site so we can split the cost?

    June 19, 2013

  • Janet H.

    Planning on joining the group on Fri. would like to share a site.

    June 18, 2013

  • Larry L.

    Planning to come Saturday for paddle only, if I can get away.

    June 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Planning to do Saturday. the beginner route..

    2 · May 22, 2013

  • N H.

    May 18, 2013

  • Anita B.

    Hi - we're on campsite #7. one tent.

    May 17, 2013

  • Paul

    If anyone can not make the July date and would like to paddle in the Mallows Bay there is a trip going this weekend, May17th. Please join us for either Saturday or Sunday paddle. Details are in the discussion section of the meet-up site.

    May 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you adventurers have the right gear and paddle farther south, there is a sunken Nazi U-Boat on the riverbed. The submarine used the same black rubber coating that we now use on our stealth bombers, making it invisible to radar and sonar. It had just one mission: To destroy a specific boat. It lay hidden in the Potomac River, yet all perished in it as the war ended. It remained unmoved in that location. Its name is the Black Panther.

    2 · May 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      NOAA has it cordoned right now, and due to its location cannot be readily seen. But what is most important is to be aware that there are large bullhead sharks in that area of the river mouth: http://files.meetup.c...­

      1 · May 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      The only place where large bull sharks have been seen and caught is in Cornfield Harbor. I only saw one in my entire life. Hey, I lived in NYC's rough ends, lived in Serbia-Croatia, and had bullets go over my head. But I was never as scared as seeing a dorsal fin whose tip was eye level heading towards me and then luckily at an angle away from me. Yes, my shorts were very wet.

      1 · May 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is a great trip, and I go there regularly. You will have a fantastic time. Here are the Low and High tide readings at your location for the dates of your paddle. Remember that DNR now prohibits anyone going on or in the ships due to incidents that occurred therein (folks crashed through the structure):

    Saturday: L 4:39 AM, H 11:12 AM, L 4:55 PM, and H 11:42 PM.
    Sunday: L 5:26 AM, H 11:58 AM, Low 5:33 PM.

    May 10, 2013

    • Paul

      Bob, What reference point do you use for the tide charts? Thanks, Paul

      May 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I actually ask the guy sitting next to me (we work at NOAA). He does the charts and I handle the Weather Radio. Use this link for your trip therein: http://tidesandcurren...­

      1 · May 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just reserved site 9.

    1 · May 10, 2013

    • Rick

      Jim, Would it be possible to share site 9

      May 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Rick, You are welcome to share my site. I reserved for 4 people and so far only me. So come on down.

      May 14, 2013

  • Denise D

    As of this moment, all cabins are taken for the weekend of July 12, 2013. Thirteen campsites remain open.

    May 14, 2013

  • Doug

    Not sure I want to camp. Is there a hotel close by?

    May 10, 2013

    • Meri

      The campground has several cabins as well as tent sites.

      May 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes, I agree that Meri's recommendation to stay in the campground is the best lodging idea for this particular trip.

      May 13, 2013

  • Amy L.

    I LOVE this area to paddle, but can't do a Friday...

    May 13, 2013

10 went

Our Sponsors

  • Make A Donation

    If you enjoy our events, why not consider making a donation to the DVK?

  • DVK Shop

    Show your support and spread the word with our DVK themed merchandise!

  • Paddleshack

    A great supplier of kayaks and gear.

  • The Safe Harbor

    Free educational resource for safe boating in the Port of NY & NJ.

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy