Choptank Paddling and Camping at Martinak State Park
Sep 22 - 23, 2007

Marinak is a nice little park.  There is an RV loop and a tent loop, each with about 30 sites.  On the tent loop, one site is about the same as another, but take one on the outside of the loop if you can.  There is a central  bathroom and shower facility near the center of the loop.  The sites are in amongst trees, so there is shade and wind protection.   Table and fire ring are provided.

It's a short drive from the camp loops to the boat launch.  There is a good boat ramp here.  It wasn't crowded, but there was a steady flow of boats being launched and retrieved, most of the fishing, bass-boat variety.  There's a dock next to the ramp.  There's a floating, jet-ski ramp next to the dock.  We launched and headed out of Watts Creek to the Choptank.  The Choptank is a mile-wide open river where Route 50 crosses it down in Cambridge.  At Martinak, 25 or so miles upriver,  near Denton, the Choptank is still a substantial body of water.  You see it in the background of the picture of the handsome lad who just pulled himself up into the boat after cooling off in the Choptank.  That lad is me.
Floating up Chappel Creek

Saturday we headed north and passed through Denton.  There was a skipjack on blocks near the bridge for route 404.  We turned east and paddled up Chappel Creek, which soon transitioned to a woodlands stream.  We got out and stretched our legs in a gladed woods next to route 313.  I walked up to the road and judged that you could easily park and put in here at the top end of Chappel Creek.
Below:  Chappel Creek as it transitions from marsh to forest.
Floating up Chappel Creek
Below: near Route 313
Floating up Chappel Creek

On Sunday we kayaked in Watts Creek.  The tide was low and it was not as enchanting as I'd found Chappel Creek.

Below:  Watts Creek, kayaking upstream from the boat ramp.
Floating up Watts Creek
Another scene from Watts Creek
Watts Creek

Words and pictures by Chip Walsh.