MD - Patapsco River - North Point to Key Bridge and Return -16.0 Miles



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North Point is the location of the British troop landing during the war of 1812 for the attack on Baltimore. We launched from where the British landed and head up the Patapsco as did the British fleet. We pass the Civil War era Ft. Carroll and pass under Francis Scott Key Bridge, all in view of Ft. McHenry, site of the penning of our national anthem.




Fresh from their victory in Washington, the British forces bombarded Ft. McHenry in Baltimore harbor and launched a ground attack that came ashore at North Point and marched west toward the well defended Baltimore. For more details on the history of the area, click here.

We drove down Ebenezer road toward Ft. Howard and the Veterans hospital and launched from the shore of Shallow Creek. Shallow Creek is apply named and is both shallow and muddy. The launch site was small and equally muddy. One might have more luck launching from the beach at the veteran's hospital at the end of North Point, but we were unsure of the parking situation there.

We had an uneventful paddle arount North Point and headed up the patapsco past Fort Carroll, the civil war era fortification for the protection of Baltimore harbor. The fort is not maintained and there is littl opportunity to land there utilizing the one stone dock that is both high and open to the chop and wakes always present in the harbor on weekends. The area is posted for no trespassing sign posted.


Continuing past Fort Carrol we had an opportunity to surf the wakes of some passing leasure cruisers whose short curling wakes rolled across the otherwise calm waters. I took off on a wave slanting to the right across the wave face. Unseen at the beginning, Julio had caught the wave in front of me and was slicing to the left on his. He could not see me behind him. As he let his wave pass under him and he came to nearly a halt in the trough, I was unable to control my boat on the curling wave I was riding and rode up over the stern of his boat. Fortunately, the bottom of my boat came up over his spare paddle on the back of his boat and I was able to control my boat enough to not hit him in his cockpit. He was a bit surprised to say the least. From then on I have always looked around to see what my companions are up to before going for a wave. Julio and I both braced successfully and there were no consequences, only good lessons, in this encounter.

We continued up the Patapsco and under the high Francis Scott Key memoril bridge to a small beach on the north shore. The shoreline was littered with hundreds of plastic bottles, fast food containers and discarded needles. We carefully located a reasonable clean area and had lunch. we returned the eight mile to our launch point and headed home. In summary this trip is far from the best one can take in the Chesapeake Bay, but provides a glimpse of places with a great historical past.


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EVEN THE BEST BOATERS CAN FIND THEMSELVES IN SERIOUS TROUBLE ON THE MILDEST OF DAYS ON THE WATER. PARTICIPATION IN THIS SPORT IS A STRENUOUS ACTIVITY. CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE UNDERTAKING ANY SUCH ACTIVITY. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT EACH BOATER TAKES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS OR HER OWN SAFETY, AND IS TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ASSESSING THE DANGER LEVEL AND ACCEPTING THE CONSEQUENCES OF PARTICIPATING IN THIS SPORT.


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