© 2018 Kent Narrows Development Foundation. Proudly created with Wix.com

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Vimeo Social Icon

Working the Waterways from Kent Narrows

 

Location: Wells Cove Quadrant

Time to allow: 6-10 hours, includes Fishing Trip

Getting here: Exit 42, off Rt.301/50 to Rt.18 to Wells Cove Rd.

 

This experience begins at the Queen Anne’s County Public Landing at the end of Wells Cove Road. This 2.0-acre facility overlooking the Eastern Bay, once hosted seafood packing houses. Head Boats often leave from this site just after dawn. Parking is available in the lot between the Jetty and Bridges Restaurants.

 

What you will see and do:

 

  • Wells Cove Public Landing dedicated in May of 2009 by the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners

  • Fishing Trip in waters in and around the Chesapeake Bay

  • Watermen’s Boat Basin at Heritage Harbor

  • The Kent Narrows Drawbridge

  • Maryland Watermen’s Memorial

 

This water-based experience takes you on a fishing adventure with the Head Boat Captain of your choice. This seasonal experience is offered on days and times when the weather is cooperative.

 

Each boat is different and most will take walk-ons the morning of the trip. Call ahead to check weather conditions before traveling long distances. For a list of Head Boat Captains visit https://www.kentnarrowsmd.com/fishing-charters

 

Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources posts seasonal fishing opportunities on a regular basis.  http://www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing/chesapeake-bay-tributaries-seasons-sizes-limits/

 

 

Starting Point:

Wells Cove Public Landing

The Head Boats that work out of the Kent Narrows Area offer 5 to 8-hour long fishing trips. Boats leave from the public landing at Wells Cove in the early morning hours. Group rates are generally not available, each person purchases their own ticket. Fishing licenses and equipment are not required for these trips, but it’s always good to check in advance with the Captain, because all boats are different.

 

Many of the Captains have been sailing out of the Kent Narrows for over fifty years and are independent business men. Their commitment to the Chesapeake Bay earns them respect as some of the most knowledgeable watermen in the region. For more history, you may view the documentary film the by Torriano Berry, Black Captains of the Chesapeake on the Maryland Public Television website.

 

The Waterman’s Memorial Drawbridge | Kent Narrows

As your fishing boat leaves Wells Cove your boat will most likely travel under or near this Kent Narrows landmark. To the left is Heritage Harbor at the Watermen’s Boat Basin. About 80% of the boats berthed here belong to watermen. There are workboats of all shapes and sizes. Workboats here include the Chesapeake Bay Deadrise, which today is used by most of the watermen. Deadrises have a small cabin forward and a large open work area aft. They pull a shallow draft of about 2 to 3 feet, making them ideal for the shallow places that are so characteristic to the rivers and bays of this region.

 

The Waterman’s Memorial Drawbridge, also known as the Old Kent Narrows Bridge opened in 1952. The Kent Narrows Development Foundation dedicated the Bridge as the Watermen’s Memorial Bridge to memorialize the hardworking watermen that were and continue to be prevalent in the Kent Narrows area. The bascule bridge has a vertical clearance of 18 feet. From May 1-October 31, the Bridge opens on the hour and half-hour from 6 a.m. to 9p.m. From November 1-April 30, it opens from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

US 50/301 Bridge

The bridge was recently dedicated in May of 2018 to R. Clayton Mitchell, III. Former Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. This bridge was built in the early 1990s as part of the US 50/301 upgrades on the Eastern Shore. Look to the right toward the Harris Seafood and United Shellfish facilities to catch a glimpse of the working waterfront at Kent Narrows. Here you will often see the workboats delivering their fresh catches to the packing house.

 

Enjoy Refreshments or a Casual Dockside Meal after your Day of Fishing

Crab Feasts are popular after a day of fishing. Several restaurants in the area offer casual dining and crab dishes year-round.

 

Maryland Watermen’s Monument

Cross over Kent Narrows Way South and to the Maryland Watermen’s Monument. The monument was constructed in 2003. It is dedicated to all watermen in the State of Maryland for their tremendous contribution to the State’s seafood industry, culture and heritage. It pays homage to their unique way of life and legacy.

Kent Narrows Waterfront History Tour Sampler 

 

Locations: Piney Narrows Quadrant to Maryland Waterman’s Memorial / Wells Cove Quadrant

Point to Point Walking Time: 40 minutes (may be longer if the drawbridge is opened during your journey or if you chose to spend time on the beach at Ferry Point Park)

Getting here: Exit 41, off Rt.301/50 follow the brown signs to the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitors Center

 

What you will see and do:

 

This walking tour takes you to points around the Waterfront Kent Narrows Waterfront that have historic significance.

 

  • The Chesapeake Heritage and Visitors Center

  • Walk to Ferry Point Park and take in the views of the working waterfront

  • View from shore the Captain John Smith Water Trail (or bring a kayak to paddle along the trail or along other water trails in the area)

  • Pick up the eastern leg of the Cross Island Trail and travel over the Kent Narrows Drawbridge and view of the workboats at the Watermen’s Boat Basin at Heritage Harbor

  • Maryland Watermen’s Monument

Historically, the Kent Narrows is known as a place central to facilitating trade and a key link to the region’s transportation networks. It’s a place where those whose sustenance depended upon the water worked, traveled through and raised their families. Today the region continues to directly support hundreds of water-related businesses and is rich with maritime heritage. So much has occurred is this place it is hard to condense it all into a few stories. The interpretative signs and places you’ll discover serve as introductions for further exploration.   

 

A system of water-based, land based and boardwalk trails connects most the points of interest. Some points may be reached by water trails and others by foot or bike. Many land based trails are wheelchair accessible. It’s best to call ahead to determine which trails will be the most accessible since weather conditions may affect our trails and access to them. The interpretative markers and key stops along the way are indicated on the Waterman’s Way Heritage Trail Map. The seven mile Cross Island Trail begins in the Kent Narrows area and links the peninsula to Kent Island.

 

Starting Point:

Chesapeake Heritage      

 and Visitors Center

425 Piney Narrows Road

Chester, Md, 21619

 

Climb the towers here for a spectacular view of the Kent Island Narrows, the working waterfront, Ferry Park and the Chester River. Inside is a small museum.

 

Public Parking and Restrooms Available. (An elevator is available at times when the Visitor’s Center is open. Call 410-604-2100 for hours of operation). Here you can view the Stories of Kent Narrows videos so you can become familiar with the rich heritage of the area.

 

There are several markers on the property in in front of the visitors center. Next to the flag pole you see a marker that discusses important roles the Harriett Tubman and Frederick Douglass played to abolish slavery in the United States. Many visitors to this area stop here as they prepare to visits the sites along the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. For more information about sites along the byway please visit the State of Maryland’s byway pages: https://www.visitmaryland.org/scenic-byways/harriet-tubman-underground-railroad.

 

To view Stories of Kent Narrows Videos in advance visit: KentNarrowsMd.com and click on the Stories icon.

 

Be sure to pick up the Watermen’s Way Heritage Trail map before you go. Thee interpretative markers and historic features of the area are listed on the map. If the center is closed maps can be found in the clear plastic box in front of the center.

 

Boardwalk Trail to Ferry Point Park

Take the boardwalk trail to the Beach at Ferry Point Park. The 40-acre Ferry Point Park lies near the Chesapeake Heritage and Visitors Center on a peninsula bordered by Kent Narrows, the Chester River, and Piney Creek. A 530-foot boardwalk that takes visitors over the marsh onto a trail leading to open space, a wooded area, and a beach overlooking the Chester river.

 

Along the trail you will see native plants helping to create favorable habitat for wildlife. The interpretative marker at the beginning of the boardwalk trail tells the story of the Kent Narrows waterfront. Another marker looks over the Strait of the Kent Island Narrows and describes how a marshland was turned into the waterway it is today.

 

After you reach the beach you can imagine what Captain John Smith may have when he sailed past here and further up the Chester River to Chestertown, which is an hour away by car. Sultana projects in Chestertown is involved with managing the Chester River portion of the trail.  http://sultanaeducation.org/about-sultana/the-john-smith-trail/

 

Once you arrive at the beach at Ferry Point take the path off to your right. You will be walking through a wooded area and the cove at Ferry Point will be on your right. Continue out to the water. The land mass directly across the river is the Eastern Neck Wildlife Preserve and the landmass to your right is Love Point.  Here you will find the Captain John Smith interpretative marker. Walk further for to see the pathway give way to a stunning view of the area where the Chester River meets the Chesapeake Bay.

 

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail travels nearly 3,000 miles across the Chesapeake Bay and it’s rivers. The trail was officially launched as part of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia.

 

Should you wish to explore by water trail you may launch a kayak from Ferry Point or from the Kent Narrows Public Landing and follow along the same path as Captain John Smith.  https://www.nps.gov/cajo/planyourvisit/captain-john-smith-chesapeake-nht.htm

 

The name Ferry Point came from the ferries that once crossed Kent Narrows to link Kent Island with the mainland.

During the late 1800’s steamboat powered Ferry boats could be seen traffic traveling along this route.

 

Follow Walking Path

adjacent to Piney Narrows Road

Here you can see the many boats at Piney Narrows Marina Off to the left you will notice a waterway between Piney Narrows and the Kent Narrows Marine Boatel. During the boating season you may see the large lift at the Boatel in action. At the cross walk continue left along Piney Narrows Road to the next stop sign. (To the right you will see a sign marking the Cross Island Trail Path. (Should you wish take a detour from this itinerary, you may venture along this path to see a view of the Piney Creek and the Chester River from the boardwalk trail that leads into woodlands.) 

Walk under the US 50/301 Bridge

The bridge was recently dedicated in May of 2018 to R. Clayton Mitchell, III. Former Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. The Bridge was built in the early 1990s as part of the US 50/301 upgrades on the Eastern Shore. Turn right at the stop sign on Rt.18 and pick up the pedestrian/

bike path over the Watermen’s Memorial Drawbridge. This path is part of the Cross Island Trail, the American Discovery Trail and the Chesapeake Country Scenic Byway.

Cross the Waterman’s Memorial Drawbridge (Lat / Lon: N 38° 58.230' / W 076° 14.822')

As you walk over the bridge and look to the left you will get a glimpse of Heritage Harbor, Watermen’s Boat Basin. About 80% of the boats berthed here belong to watermen. As you reach the highest part of the bridge, look to the left toward Harris Crab Seafood and catch a glimpse of the Working Waterfront. Here you will often see the workboats delivering their fresh catches to the packing house.

 

The Waterman’s Memorial Drawbridge also known as the Old Kent Narrows Bridge opened in 1952 and is a well-known landmark. The Kent Narrows Development Foundation dedicated the Bridge as the Watermen’s Memorial Bridge to memorialize the hardworking Watermen that were and continue to be prevalent in the Kent Narrows area. The Bascule Bridge has a vertical clearance of 18 feet. From May 1-October 31 the Bridge opens on the hour and half-hour from 6 a.m. to 9p.m. From November 1-April 30 it opens from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

Star Spangled Banner Trail Marker

At the base of the bridge take the crosswalk over Rt.18 and follow the trail. Here you will see the Crossing Point historic marker that explains the significance of the area during the War of 1812. The marker is associated with the Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail a program of the National Parks Service. www.starspangledtrail.net

 

Maryland Watermen’s Monument

Cross over Kent Narrows Way South and to the Maryland Watermen’s Monument. The monument was constructed in 2003. It is dedicated to all watermen in the State of Maryland for their tremendous contribution to the State’s Seafood industry, culture and heritage. It pays homage to their unique way of life and legacy.

 

 

Dockside dining is offered at Bridges, The Jetty, The Narrows, Fisherman’s Crab Deck and The Big Owl. Fisherman’s Inn offers traditional eastern Shore Fare. Great American Grille is located at the Hilton Garden Inn. The Jetty offers popular bands on evening and on weekends year-round, while other restaurants and dock bars offer a variety of live music during the boating season. 

From Boat to Table

This video and itinerary are inspired the narrative given by Jason Ruth and local business owner and a native of this area. He is the owner of Harris Seafood, LLC. Harris Seafood Company places a great emphasis on ensuring the future of the oyster industry through aqua culture. Product delivered here is bought from approximately 350 watermen in the Chesapeake Bay region. Today Harris employs approximately 45 people from the local community. Next door is Harris Crab House, operated by President and General Manager Mike Harris. Both businesses are celebrating being in the seafood industry for over 70 years. The businesses had their beginnings here when in 1945 Holton C. Harris owned and operated a plant where Harris Seafood Company is now. Its name was the Kent Oyster Company. After William (Captain Bill) Holton Harris returned home from serving in the Army in WWII, he eventually purchased an oyster packing plant and continued to operate it under the Kent Oyster Company. This is the site where Harris Crab House is currently located. In the early 1900’s there were 20 shucking houses located in the Kent Narrows area. These businesses dominate this area along with Mears Point Marina and United Shellfish.

 

Locations: Mears Point Quadrant/ Harris Seafood to Wells Cove/Fisherman’s Village Quadrant

Point to Point Walking Time: 10 minutes

Getting here: Exit 42 off Rt.301/50 follow the signs to Main Street. (Rt.18)  Kent Narrows East

 

What you will see and do:

 

This walking tour takes you to points around the Waterfront Kent Narrows Waterfront that have historic significance.

 

  • Harris Crab House and Harris Seafood

  • The demonstration area at the Oyster Recovery Project on the docks of the working waterfront.

  • A boardwalk trail that runs alongside of the Straight of the Kent Island Narrows and takes you under the Kent Narrows Bridge. Here you can get a close up look at the boats as they go by.

  • Maryland Watermen’s Monument

  • Miss Betty’s Oyster Plate at Fisherman’s Inn

 

Historically, the Kent Narrows is known as a place central to facilitating seafood trade. The Straight of the Kent Island Narrows serves as a key link to the region’s land and water-based transportation networks. It’s a place where those whose sustenance depended upon the water worked, traveled through and raised their families. Today, the region continues to directly support hundreds of water-related businesses and is rich with maritime heritage and the much of the waterfront at in Mears Point Quadrant is known today as the “Working Waterfront” due to the trade that happens here.

 

STOP ONE:

Starting Point:

HARRIS CRAB HOUSE AND SEAFOOD

443 Kent Narrows Way North,

Grasonville, Md 21638

(note: Parking can be an issue during the busy seasons, alternate parking for this itinerary is available at the public lot under the Kent Narrows Bridge. A path from that lot goes directly to Harris Seafood.)

Visit Harris Crab House to see its rich collection of vintage oyster cans from all over the peninsula, and from other locations. Patrons may see the crabs, oysters and clams offloaded from the workboats to the docks and enjoy watching the boat traffic go by as they dine. Hard Crabs are offered here year-round, as is a variety of other fresh seafood offerings. Public parking and restrooms are available. ( A ramp is available for those with mobility challenges).

 

STOP TWO

HARRIS SEAFOOD

Next to Harris Crab House is the docking area at Harris Seafood. Take a walk along the dock and see the workboats and the Oyster Recovery Project in action. Partnering with the University of Maryland has allowed Harris Seafood to help restore the Bay’s oyster beds while promoting the seafood industry. Learn more about the history of the oysters in the bay through the narratives posted around this dock area. Ice cream is offered her during the boating season.

 

Follow the walking path from Harris parking area, south to the Kent Narrows Bridge parking area.

At the south end of the parking lot at Harris Crab house you can take a paved trail to the parking area under the bridge. Cross the parking lot and head to the water to get to the boardwalk trail that runs under the Rt.301/50 bridge and ends up in front of  area where The Big Owl, The Narrows Restaurant and Fisherman’s Crab Deck are located. Along the way, you may see see the Watermen’s Memorial Drawbridge in action. The boardwalk trail is designed for walking. Fishing is prohibited.

 

The larger Rt.50/301 Bridge was dedicated in May of 2018 to R. Clayton Mitchell, III. Former Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates. The Bridge was built in the early 1990s as part of the US 50/301 upgrades on the Eastern Shore. (Note: Construction is scheduled for this area so please check in advance to make sure this portion of the tour is accessible)

STOP THREE

Maryland Watermen’s Monument

Cross over Kent Narrows Way South to the Maryland Watermen’s Monument. The monument was constructed in 2003. It’s dedicated to all watermen in the State of Maryland for their tremendous contribution to the State’s seafood industry, culture and heritage. It pays homage to their unique way of life and legacy. Should you wish to continue on, you may access the Cross Island Trail from this location. If you travel east on Rt.18, you will come to a lively waterfront dining scene. A gift shop sits next to the Hilton Garden Inn and many local souvenir may be purchased at many of the restaurants. A  local seafood market is here should you wish to have fresh seafood packed -up and iced-down for your trip home.

 

STOP 4

Miss Betty’s Oyster Plate Collection at Fisherman’s Inn

Continue on across the parking lot to Fisherman’s Inn to get a look at Miss Betty’s Oyster Plate Collection. This impressive collection belonged to Betty Schulz, the longtime matriarch of Fisherman’s Inn Restaurant, whose parents started the business in the 1930’s. The Eastern Shore Landmark is still operated today by her family members. The restaurant has a variety of Eastern Shore memorabilia displayed throughout. It is also pays homage to the area’s rich railroad history with a “G Scale” model train that runs through the restaurant on a suspended track.

 

 

Click here for the Boat to Table Video that accompanies this itinerary.

Slide Screens-02.jpg