MD - Severn River - 2001/11/10



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Round Bay 17.4 miles - High banks and luxury homes line Severn River, home to those determined to keep it to themselves.




By Hank McComas


Marley Creek marina
Marley Creek Marina




The Severn River is on the Western Shore of the Bay just south of the Bay Bridge. Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy sits at its mouth. At its head is a large open bay called Round Bay. And it is. The banks of the Severn River are very high on both sides of the river. The entire river is heavily residentially developed.

There are many places suitable to launch kayaks and canoes in the creeks along the Severn's southwestern shore. However, parking is a different matter. Lined with the large sumptuous homes of many powerful Annapolis figures, the regulations and zoning of many of these community launching sites are hostile to outsiders. There is only one public access ramp at Marley Creek marina on the northern Severn. There is a kayak launch at Spring River Kayaks in Annapolis harbor at the southern end of the Severn.


Julio sand Hank in Marsh at head of Severn River
Julio and Hank in Marsh at head of severn River




This November day was cool with a warm sun and clear blue skies. We launched at 9:30 and headed out into Little Round Bay and then into Round Bay. Turning Northeast we headed up river. The leaves along the banks shimmered in the bright sun and displayed their falls colors of red, rust and yellow. We paddled to the far northern end of the Severn where the development diminishes as marsh lines the banks and the height of the banks decrease. At the very end, the Severn gets down to a small stream. We headed up this little creek with just enough width to pass one kayak until we grounded on a gravel filled riffel and had to back paddle our way back to a spot that was wide enough to let us turn around.




We stopped at a small undeveloped area and ate lunch. While we were there, we were approached by a local resident, not the owner of the property, who complained that our kayaks were blocking the area where he and his Labrador dog played fetch in the water each day. He had the attitude that we should hurry up and get the hell out of there so his dog could have his daily play time.

The Severn river is a beautiful area, even with the heavy development along its banks. However, its residents could be more sharing of its beauty with those of us not fortunate to see it every day.


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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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