The St. Inigoes Paddling Trails in Southern Maryland include St. Inigoes Landing, Smith Creek, Jutland Creek and Kitts Point Loop Trails.
Distance: Access to all these trails starts and ends at St. Inigoes Landing. The trails range in distance from 4.5 to 6.7 miles.
Difficulty: Paddling on the open waters of the lower St. Mary’s River should only be attempted by experienced paddlers. For an easy to moderate alternative, launch from St. Inigoes landing and stay close to the shoreline in the calmer waters of Smith Creek and Jutland Creek.
St. Inigoes Landing
GPS: 38 06′ 41.52″ N 76 24′ 55.31″ W
Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset
Managed by: St. Mary’s County Department of Recreation and Parks
Amenities: Boat ramp, stairway to the water, seasonal portable toilet, picnic pavilion, tables and grills. Canoes and kayaks can launch from the sandy beach to the right of the boat ramp. Paved parking lot with 10 spaces and enough room for a truck and trailer. One handicapped parking space.
Directions: From St. Mary’s City, follow Route 5 south. Turn right onto Beachville Road then turn left into St. Inigoes Landing and follow to the end of the road.
Address: 46621 Beachville Road, St. Inigoes, MD 20684
Smith Creek Loop Trail: (4.75 miles)
This trail takes paddlers through the shallow waters along the western shoreline of Smith Creek. This peninsula is owned by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and managed as a State Forest. The shoreline features a mix of farm fields, woodlands, and natural areas. Further up the creek there is a “Leave No Trace” rest area along the shoreline and a series of coves which provide habitat for a variety of Chesapeake Bay wildlife. Make a loop at the head of the creek and return to the access point at St. Inigoes Landing.
Jutland Creek Loop Trail: (6.75 miles)
Cruise the shoreline of Jutland Creek and see a variety of wildlife. A shallow basin lies at the far end of the creek where ducks and geese can be spotted raising their young in the spring. The loop takes paddlers into Fox Harbor which is home to some of Ridge’s charter boat fleet. Private homes, campgrounds, marinas, and restaurants dot the shoreline along this trail. There is active boat traffic along this route so stay close to shore and out of the main channel.
Kitts Point Loop Trail: (4.5 miles)
This trail takes paddlers into the open waters of the Potomac and St. Mary’s Rivers. If weather conditions are windy novice paddlers should avoid this route, as the open waters can get rough. Depart from the landing and follow the shoreline heading south towards the Potomac River. Keep the shoreline on the right and paddle around Kitts Point (approximately 1 mile) to enter the St. Mary’s River. Continue 1 mile north. The shoreline features a series of embayments, sandy beaches and jetties and there is a “Leave No Trace” rest area just before the entrance to Chicken Cock Creek. Explore the creek before making a loop and returning to Kitts Point. The waters around Kitts Point are shallow
and on a clear day paddlers might see some underwater wildlife.