MARYLAND AT A GLANCE

WATERWAYS

BOATING WATERS


[photo, USS Constellation, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland]
  • Boat Registration (DNR)
  • Boating in Maryland (DNR)
  • Boating Safety (DNR)
  • Courtesy on the Water (DNR)
  • Marinas, Certified Maryland Clean (DNR)
  • Natural Resources Police Force
  • Sailing
  • USS Constellation, Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland, November 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Boat rack along St. Mary's River, St. Mary's City, Maryland]

    [photo, Kayaks, Snow Hill, Maryland] Boat rack along St. Mary's River (left), St. Mary's City, Maryland, May 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    Kayaks (right), Snow Hill, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Anchors, Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, 100 Lafayette St., Havre de Grace, Maryland] Maryland's 23 rivers and bays combine with more than 400 miles of water tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, and coastal bays. To and from the Atlantic Ocean, some 35 miles of water are accessible.

    Information about licensing, boat titles, and boat registration is available from the Licensing and Registration Service of the Department of Natural Resources. The Department also provides information about public boat launch facilities in Maryland.

    The Maryland Water Trails Program within the Department of Natural Resources coordinates the development, promotion, and protection of a system of water trails throughout the State.


    Anchors, Havre de Grace Maritime Museum, 100 Lafayette St., Havre de Grace, Maryland, June 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.


    [photo, Sailboat, Patapsco River, Locust Point, Baltimore, Maryland] As of 2022, Maryland has 496 Public Water Access sites to serve the general boating public. This number includes 250 boat ramps for motorized vessels, 232 soft access sites for non-motorized vessels and 14 other sites that are transient docking facilities or wharves. Maryland also has over 788 miles of State designated water trails.

    As of December 31, 2022, there were 171,017 currently registered vessels in the State of Maryland that display the State vessel registration number, including over 18,801 personal watercraft.

    Sailboat, Patapsco River, Locust Point, Baltimore, Maryland, June 2019. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Canoes, Snow Hill, Maryland] [photo, Crab boat with crab pots (traps), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland] The Eastern Shore offers rivers and tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay on which to canoe, kayak, fish, or sail, but it also hosts powerboat shows.

    Canoes (left), Snow Hill, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

    Crab boat with crab pots (traps) (right), Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, June 2010. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Skipjack H. M. Krentz on Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland] BOAT RACES & FESTIVALS
    On the Eastern Shore, in Cambridge in Dorchester County, is the
    Cambridge Classic. Dating from 1910, they are the nation's oldest active powerboat races. The next race will be held in May 2024. Cambridge hosts another powerboat race each July, the Thunder on the Choptank, which will next take place in July 2024.

    Chestertown in Kent County holds its annual Sultana Downrigging Weekend Tall Ship and Wooden Boat Festival each fall. It will next be held in October 27-29, 2023.

    Skipjack H. M. Krentz on Miles River, St. Michaels, Maryland, February 2005. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Sailboats, Back Creek, Annapolis, Maryland] In Talbot County, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels hosts the Antique and Classic Boat Festival each June and the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival every fall. The next Small Craft Festival will take place on October 6-8, 2023, while the next Antique Boat Festival will be held in June 2024.

    Annapolis, Maryland's capital city, hosts the Helly Hansen National Offshore One-Design (NOOD) Regatta. It takes place each Spring, and the next one will be held May 3-5, 2024.


    Sailboats, Back Creek, Annapolis, Maryland, September 2009. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Boats at piers, Severn River, Crownsville, Maryland] BOAT SHOWS
    In Wicomico County, Ocean City hosts the annual Seaside Boat Show
    each winter. The next show will be in February 2024.

    The Baltimore Boat Show was held each winter at the Baltimore Convention Center. Currently, the show is on hiatus.

    In Baltimore County, the Chesapeake Bay Boat Show will be held at the Timonium Fairgrounds January 19-21, 2024.

    The Mid-Atlantic's largest Spring boat show, the Bay Bridge Boat Show in Stevensville, as well as the Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show, are held each April.

    Boats at piers, Severn River, Crownsville, Maryland, May 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


    [photo, Youghiogheny River, Friendsville, Maryland] Also in Annapolis, the United States Powerboat and Sailboat Shows take place each October at the City Dock. The next Powerboat Show will take place October 5-8, 2023 and the Sailboat Show will be held October 12-15, 2023.

    In Western Maryland's Garrett County, the Youghiogheny Scenic and Wild River provides some of the best whitewater rafting east of the Mississippi. Its 20-mile stretch below the Youghiogheny River Reservoir offers whitewater rafting, beginning with class I and II rapids for the first 9 miles, and ending with a class III and IV section the next 7 miles.

    Also in Garrett County, the International Canoe Federation (ICF) 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championships were held in McHenry. That international event, on September 17-21, 2014, required competitors to navigate a 300-meter whitewater course in either a canoe or kayak.



    Youghiogheny River, Friendsville, Maryland, October 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


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