Patapsco, From the Bay into Baltimore

Pictures and words by Chip Walsh

CPA Trip: Exploring the Patapsco, led by Peter Henry, August 24, 2013.
This trip launched from Fort Smallwood Park, on the Chesapeake, and concluded at Canton Waterfront Park. We had temps in the 70's, plenty of sunshine, and there was a moderate wind from the north pushing 1 - 2 foot waves straight into Fort Smallwood. It was a summer Saturday, so plenty of boat traffic, that, together with the wind waves, made conditions quite choppy.

Trip Route

white rocks About a mile from launch, our first attraction: "white rocks." This appears to be a natural rock formation, uncommon in the Bay.
black rocks "Black rocks" in the mouth of Stony Creek. Where else in the Bay are there rock formations like this?
coal scooper at power plant We paused at Brandon Shores Power Plant and watched the huge scooper go to work emptying a coal barge.
Jim passes beneath pier Shortcutting under the pier at the power plant.
Key Bridge Approaching Key Bridge and Fort Armistead.
Ft. Armistead
Ft. Armistead was a gun emplacement, in the Harbor defense system. Abandoned in 1928, it is now home to weeds and graffitti artists. We regretted not bring spray paint for a CPA logo.
Magazine at Ft. Armistead

Ft. Armistead's former magazine bunkers have all been broken into, graffitti-ized, and littered with trash. It's much darker than the flash makes it look. Creepy.


beach at Ft. Armistead Leg stretching and snacking on the beach at Ft. Armistead Park.
Ft Carrol We paddled arond Fort Carrol at about mile 6.5, basically under Key Bridge.
Francis Scott Key Buoy Pausing at the Francis Scott Key buoy, which marks the spot where Key composed the lyrics to our National Anthem. Ft. McHenry is 3 or 4 miles in the distance.
Panamax cranes Paddling by the piers and cranes of Dundalk. The white cranes are new in 2013, needed for the larger "Panamax" freighters expected to arrive around 2015.
enter alt Around mile 9, Gina had us on the lookout for a lighthouse by the Lehigh Cement elevators.
distant Ft. McHenry Ft. McHenry lies under the flag in the distance. We could have walked the Fort, but opted not to stop at a little beach Peter knows.
Naval vessels

Massive Navy vessels around mile 10. The ramps belong to USNS Seay and Fisch, 951' with 106' beam. Big.

Seven Foot Knoll lighthouse Built in 1855, the Seven Foot Knoll, "screw pile" lighthouse marked dangerous water at the mouth of the Patapsco from 1855 to 1988, when it was moved to Pier 5 in Baltimore.
WWII Submarine "Torsk" WWII Submarine, the Torsk, near the Acquarium in the Inner Harbor.
lightship "Chesapeake" Lightship "Chesapeake," sat off Cape Henry, marking the entry to the Bay, from 1933 - 1965.
Torsk Another photo of Torsk, showing it's smiling "good side."
paddle boats Kayaking among the tourist dragon-paddle boats.
stern of the Constellation Stern of the second Constellation, built in 1855, which had little connection to Baltimore. At some point she was reconfigured to look like the first Constellation, which was built in
Baltimore in 1797.
Constellation Business side of the Constellation.
Shipboard Wedding Shipboard wedding
Wedding at Science Center Wedding pics (with a kayaker in the background) at the Science Center.
Domino Sugars plant Iconic sign over the sugar plant.
skyline Baltimore skyline.
Massive Cargo Ships I thought these ships bigger than Seay & Fischer. I was wrong. USNS Capella & Antares are a paltry 946' x 105'.