|Kayaking the Potomac River, just upstream from the mouth of the Monocacy River. The kayak is beached on an uninhabited island in the river.
John Santic's Paddling Page
I have always liked "the outdoors", but that usually meant "the outdoorson land". In the fall of 1996, I decided to expand my adventuring horizons by purchasing a kayak. I read-up about kayaking and studied manufacturer's literature. Pretty soon, I narrowed down the selection based on the type of kayaking I intended to do: flatwater touring. I wanted to get close to nature and needed a kayak that was stable enough that I could take pictures from the kayak without worrying about tipping over. I also wanted a kayak that would be easy to get in and out oflet's face it, I'm not getting any younger and I'm not as agile as I used to be. As an extra requirement, I was thinking about buying (and living on) a sailboat, so I wanted a kayak that would be easy to carry on a liveaboard sailboat.
After considering all the choices, I purchased a Klepper folding kayak, specifically an Aerius Single (single as in "one seat"; they also make a double). I've been very happy with the Klepper, and have taken it on numerous paddling trips. At the time, I lived in Frederick, Maryland, and paddled at a few locations in central Maryland. I mostly paddled in southern Maryland, which has lots of really good locations, especially the Patuxent and Potomac Rivers and the numerous creeks that feed those rivers. All of the local paddling trips were "day trips", but I have also taken the Klepper out west for a multi-day kayak camping trip.
I think kayaking is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern living, and just slow down and commune with nature. I really enjoy paddling up a winding creek, first passing through the tall rustling grasses of a marsh, then through the leafy green woodlands of the headwaters. All the while the creek gets narrower and shallower until finally the kayak slides to a stop, aground. Now I turn around and get to enjoy the creek all over again, in the opposite direction. The whole time, I'm silently observing my surroundings, making as little impact as possible, amid the wildlife and natural scenery. The kingfishers and herons, the cordgrass and spatterdock, the fish jumping for insects, the ospreys and eagles, the red maples and marsh hibiscus. Kayaking up a flatwater creek is a great way to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the living wetlands.
I have a lot of notes about paddlingvarious tips and comments that I've accumulated. I also have detailed information about my kayak and accessories. Instead of presenting all of that information on one page, I will give you a few links to click. These links take you to other pages on my web site that have the detailed information.
- My Klepper folding kayak - Read about this clever and useful boat, and see how it's assembled.
- What I bring on a day trip - Like any hobby, paddling requires gear and accessories. This is a long and detailed list of things I bring on a day trip. I also have internet links to gear manufacturers and outfitters.
- What I bring on a longer trip - This is a long and detailed list of things I take on longer trips (kayak camping).
- What I write in my paddle log - I keep a paddle log, which is a written account of each of my trips. I think this is very useful, plus it's fun to re-read them later to recall enjoyable moments. Click on the link for more information.
- Practical paddling details - Comments about trip planning, weather, safety, other practical details.
I've been on quite a few paddling trips, and have lots of pictures and comments to share. It's too much information to put on this page, so I created several other pages on my web site. The information is arranged by region; within each region, you can click on the links I provide to see the specific trips. I've paddled at some locations more than once; in this case, I've combined the multiple trips on to one page.
- Little Seneca Lake - A reservoir in Black Hill Regional Park, in upper Montgomery County near Clarksburg.
- Clopper Lake - A small reservoir in Seneca Creek State Park, in Montgomery County near Gaithersburg.
- Triadelphia Reservoir - A sizable reservoir on the upper Patuxent River, on the border between Montgomery and Howard Counties near Olney.
- T. Howard Duckett Reservoir - Another sizable reservoir on the upper Patuxent River, on the border between Montgomery and Howard Counties northwest of Laurel.
- Monocacy River - The mouth of the Monocacy River where it joins the Potomac River, near Dickerson.
- Potomac River - In the vicinity of the Monocacy River.
Maryland Coastal Plain
- Pautuxent River, Jug Bay - One of many excellent paddling locations on the Patuxent River, on the middle Patuxent below the Route 4 bridge south of Upper Marlboro.
- Patuxent River, Lyons Creek, Mataponi Creek - Near the border of Anne Arundel and Calvert Counties.
- Patuxent River, Hall Creek - In Calvert County below Dunkirk.
- Patuxent River, Hunting Creek - In Calvert County between Huntingtown and Prince Frederick.
- Patuxent River, Town Creek - On the lower Patuxent in St Marys County by the Route 4 bridge.
- Patuxent River, Back Creek, Mill Creek - On the lower Patuxent in Calvert County near Solomons.
- Piscataway Creek - Off the Potomac River in Prince Georges County near Accokeek.
- Mattawoman Creek - An excellent paddling location off the Potomac River near Indian Head in Prince Georges County.
- Chicamuxen Creek - Off the Potomac River south of Mattawoman Creek.
- Nanjemoy Creek, Burgess Creek, Kings Creek - Excellent paddling locations off the Potomac River in southern Charles County.
- Potomac River (Mallows Bay) - Accessible from Purce State Park in southern Charles County.
- Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay, Lake Conoy, Tanner Creek - Accessible from Point Lookout State Park at the southernmost tip of St Marys County.
- Fishing Creek - Off Chesapeake Bay near Chesapeake Beach in Calvert County.
- St Marys River - A reservoir in St Marys County east of Lexington Park.
- Spa Creek, Severn River, College Creek - In Annapolis, Anne Arundel County.
- Pocomoke River, Nassawango Creek, Corker's Creek - Excellent paddling locations on the Eastern Shore near Snow Hill in Worcester County.
- Potomac River (Westmoreland State Park) - On the northern neck of Virginia in Westmoreland county, well below Colonial Beach.
- Rivanna Reservoir - On the Rivanna River north of Charlottesville.
- Bull Run - At the northern end of Occoquan Reservoir on the border of Prince William and Fairfax Counties near Manassas.
- Green River (Moab, Utah) - An excellent paddling location in Canyonlands National Park, just above the junction with the Colorado River.
- Elkhorn Slough (Monterey, California) - Another excellent location on the coast between Monterey and Santa Cruz.
- Lake Powell (Page, Arizona) - At the southern end of Lake Powell on the Colorado River, close to the border with Utah.
- Cedar Creek (Gadsden, South Carolina) - An excellent paddling location in Congaree Swamp National Monument, in the center of the state south of Columbia.
- Upper Dowry Creek (Belhaven, North Carolina) - A tidal creek off the Pungo River in the eastern portion of the state.
- Halifax River (Port Orange, Florida) - A tidal lagoon between the mainland and a barrier island, on the east coast south of Daytona Beach.
- Tomoka River (Ormond Beach, Florida) - A tidal river on the east coast north of Daytona Beach.
- Waples Pond, Prime Hook Creek (Milton, Delaware) - A marsh in a National Wildlife Refuge
Links To Pages On My Web Site
- Green River Kayak Camping Trip - In early March 1999, I went on a six-day kayak camping trip on the Green River, near Moab, Utah. Visit these pages to read all about it and look at lots of pictures.
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- John Santic