NOTE: Until further notice, RSVPs (18) are now closed. This includes any new additions to the Waiting List Roster (13). Please DO NOT add your name to the 'Waiting List' at this time, if it doesn't already appear.
Photo 1: American Lotuses at Mattawoman Creek
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- SPECIAL UPDATE 1: Field Lecture with Jim Long, Mattawoman Watershed Society (10am: Mattingly Park) . Jim has kindly offered to share his expertise on the ecology and history of the Mattawoman Creek Watershed with a 30 minute educational discussion/lecture. :) The lecture will begin on-site at 10am. Please be sure to be have your kayak/gear ready before 10am.
- SPECIAL UPDATE 2: 2 Paddle Groups are being planned (Group 1: Shelter Water 8'miler; Group 2: Open Water 15'miler) . WKC organizers (w/Andy, Marc, Randi) are currently working on a plan to accommodate as many members as possible to attend this event. For now, it would only be limited to those who've already RSVP'd (18) and to those who are on the 'Current' Waiting List (13). RSVPs will be closed until we finalize the plan. Please DO NOT RSVP at this time.
Tentatively, we plan to split into two paddling groups:
1. The Mattawoman Explorers Group (MEGs): an 8-10 Miler from Mattingly Park, MD). This group will include special educational prep session with MWS.
2. The Potomac Expedition Group (PEGs): a 15 Miler from Leesylvania State Park, VA)• . The organizer for the PEGs will post the venue details, later this week.
The MEGs will paddle mostly sheltered waters, but may still paddle to Smallwood Park in the first leg (high boat traffic). We'll return during high tide to paddle upstream in more 'sheltered' waters to explore Mattawoman Creek's wildlife and lotus fields. The PEGs will paddle in more open water from VA with a crossing of the Potomac to Mattingly Park for lunch (note: this is for experienced, long distance paddlers only). The PEGs will likely miss the special talk by Jim Long with the Mattawoman Watershed Society, however we're working with MWS on this, too.
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The month of July month features a special blooming of the yellow lotuses at Mattawoman Creek, which boasts the largest field of American Lotuses along the western side of the Chesapeake Bay. There are only 4 such fields along the Chesapeake Bay Basin (the other 3 are located on the Eastern shore).
Photo 2: Mattawoman Creek translates as, "Where one paddles pleasantly"; or in this case, where one wears lotus leaves pleasantly" ;)
'Mattawoman' translates as 'Where one goes pleasantly" by our Native Americans. During this exploration, I'll share some special knowledge about these plants, and hopefully we'll gain some hand-ons experience on how these plants were used as a summer harvest crop by Native Americans.
Photo 3: An American Bald Eagle poses atop Mattawoman Creek;
Mattawoman also boasts itself as"the most productive spawning ground for migratory fish" (shad and bass), throughout the Chesapeake Bay by the DNR.
But it's a special place that always presents opportunities to view wildlife, including numerous Great Egrets, herons, wood ducks, bald eagles, ospreys, beavers, tree swallows, hawks and even Kermit the frog ...
Photo 4: An American Tree Frog poses atop the Chesapeake Oriole (my kayak deck)
One can travel 'pleasantly' to Mattawoman in less than 1 hour's drive from Washington, DC to Indian Head, MD. It's ~20 miles south of National Harbor at the end of Rt-210. Make a left onto Mattingly Ave, which is the last road on left before the gates into the Naval Base.
For GoogleMap, click here.
Trip Route: 2 Rountrip Legs
- 1st leg Downstream: 6.5 miles RT: Mattingly Park to Ft Smallwood Park (10:30-1:30pm)
Note: : Lunch at Fort Smallwood Park (~12:30-1:00pm) - Concession Stand/Cafe on premises, including ice cream, burgers and hot dogs. :)
- 2nd leg Upstream: 4 miles RT: Mattingly Park to Lotus fields (1:30-3:30pm)
- 15 paddlers total (recs, touring, sea kayak; must maintain a minimum[masked] mph - pace)
- Trip Time: 10:30am -3:30pm ; extended trip possible
- Total Trip Length: ~8-12 miles RT.
Weather forecast: Indian Head, MD
Summer weather in July at Maryland often spawns afternoon T-storms, and there's a chance that we'll switch or cancel one of the trip legs.
- High Tide:[masked]: Sat, 2:30 PM EDT
- Low Tide:[masked]: Sat, 8:00 PM EDT
- PFDs must be worn at all times
- Please pack a lunch/drinks/water
- Wide brim hat/suntan lotion
- Bring binoculars/waterproof camera/bug spray, too.
- Single & Tandem Kayak Rentals are available on-site by 'Up The Creek' Rentals.
- For details, please visit: <a>http://www.upthecreekrentals.net/Rental-Rates.html</a> (Reservations are recommended, please call ahead.)