Getting Out on the Water in St. Mary’s, Maryland

As the weather gets warmer in Southern Maryland, St. Mary’s county is one of the best places to be. It’s a peninsula with 500 miles of shoreline to explore, making it a perfect spot to get out on the water. This county is less than an hour from DC and is easy to get to, making it a quick destination for locals and tourists alike. Here are some of the most popular water activities to explore in St. Mary’s this summer:

Boating / Cruises

If you live locally and have your own boat, you likely know there are plenty of boat launches and marinas in the area. Some of these include Abell’s Wharf in Leonardtown, Forrest Landing in Hollywood, Buzz’s Marina in Ridge, Colton’s Point Marina in Abell. But one of the best spots in the county to use as a jumping off point for boating adventures is Point Lookout State Park in Scotland. It’s one of the state’s most popular parks, with camping and fishing options as well as a swimming beach. You can also use their boat launch facility for your own boat, or you can take a cruise. If you’re looking for a cruise out of Point Lookout Marina, Smith Island Cruises hosts them throughout the season from Thursday through Sunday. They depart at 10:30AM each day and journey across the Chesapeake Bay to historic Smith Island where you can spend 2.5 hours exploring. The cruise is about 1.5 hours each way, and you’ll want to secure your spot ahead on their website.

Canoeing, Kayaking, Paddleboarding

St. Mary’s county is a paradise for those looking for an active water adventure, whether by canoe, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. As it is, there are five water-based state parks in the county and plenty of water trails to adventure through. There are many spots to use as a launch point for your water quest, including Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Park Canoe/Kayak Launch. This spot is available for use during museum hours and allows visitors to kayak the Piney Point Creek Trail or the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park Loop Trail. Make sure to do your research and prepare accordingly before setting out, but you can expect a 5.5-mile loop on this trail, with an easy to moderate difficulty level in calm waters. If you’re looking for a spot to rent equipment and explore the waters, Patuxent Adventure Center in Leonardtown is one place to check out. Here you can purchase or rent kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes and set off in the beautiful backwaters of Breton Bay.

Fishing adventures

Southern Maryland has some of the best seafood around. And in St. Mary’s, you’ll have the opportunity to catch your own bounty. Whether you’re a serious fisherman or looking to set out for your first fishing adventure, there are plenty of options, from tidal creeks and rivers to wide open waters. For a fishing experience out on the open sea, check out one of their fishing charters led by experienced captains. Fish the Bay Charters Saltwater Fishing, Tours & Sunset Cruises in Dameron, is one great option. Captain Phil leads these adventures throughout the season. They also offer sunset cruises, for those looking for a more relaxing sea adventure.


St. Mary’s county has you covered this summer, especially when it comes to fun out on the water. After a day of adventuring, you’ll want to check out the flavors of the region, including some of the best seafood around. You can even plan a camping trip at one of their several scenic spots to cap off your outdoor adventure here.

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