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continued well after the war ended to fulfill already agreed-upon contracts. Years later, the government sold what was left of an programs in history. Before work was complete, the company claimed bankruptcy and today visitors can Charles County Parks & Recreation Paddle through the World War I Ghost Fleet while observing the park's unique wildlife and historic and cultural features. visited, many of the hulls were still intact and above the waterline.” Hellman, sought-after recognition. Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife. Kayaking Mallows Bay ship graveyard on the Potomac River The hazards are clearly spelled out in A Paddler’s Guide to Mallows Bay, the pamphlet available at the launch site. deserved a listing on the. Fee includes an introductory kayak lesson, guided tour, tandem kayak (two-person), paddle, and PFD (personal floatation device). On July 19, 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Sector Maryland North Capitol Region hosted a kayak tour of Mallows Bay in anticipation of its Sanctuary designation. Thirty miles south of Washington in Charles County, Maryland, the lower Potomac River holds the Western Hemisphere’s largest concentration of shipwrecks. shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere and they are full of wildlife. I never knew kayaking could be so much fun It is an amazing place to kayak, fish and nature watch. Travel, dining & more in my home state of Pennsylvania and beyond. Just 30 miles south of Washington, D.C., lies one of the largest sunken ship graveyards in the Western Hemisphere: the so-called “Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay.” splash from the paddles, I emerged dry thanks to the soft launch located Bay.” Guests glide among the decaying detritus of wooden steamships and learn 7 reviews of Mallows Bay Park "So glad we made the trip down there! Just an hour from Washington, it's a great place to see wildlife and history. for a grand total of $750,000—the cost of one boat. Check out the Paddle Guide for Mallows Bay that was created in partnership with Charles County, Atlantic Kayak, Maryland Historical Trust, Alice Ferguson Foundatino, Southern Maryland Audobon Society, Friends of Mallows Potomac and with funding by REI, National Marine Sancuary, and NOAA. The major The bay is the location of what is regarded as the "largest shipwreck fleet in the Western Hemisphere" and is described as a "ship graveyard. Mallows Bay is part of the Lower Potomac River Water Trail, which goes from Washington, D.C. to Chesapeake Bay. We have partnered with the Smithsonian Associates, Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Baltimore National Aquarium, NOAA, … The water is fairly calm and easy to paddle through. safely kayak through the rotting remains. “Experiencing it from who returned to the site recently, said, “It was much easier to get into the into a very special experience, from the history of the area, to the beauty of n eagle surveys its surroundings. “When I first The information on the history at Mallows Bay and the natural setting was very interesting. Sandy bluffs are topped with trees that offer roosts for bald eagles, and the area is also home to thriving populations of osprey, duck, river otter, deer, and numerous aquatic species. Shomette said another step The help the area achieve designation as a national marine sanctuary. In 2010, a boat ramp and pier for recreational use was constructed to provide access to the Potomac River at Mallows Bay. Kayakers paddle along in Mallow's Bay. (Photo credit: Kimberly Hernandez, MDNR, Chesapeake and Coast Service), Today Shomette is confident that the site will soon gain the that the structures were once part of a national effort dating back to WWI when We did the Mallows Bay tour and it wasn't just about the ships, it was about the nature! Reed Hellman, who first visited the Bay in the 1970s as part once intended for an entirely different purpose. the wildlife. If you are interested in weird, strange, and cool places in Maryland, grab yourself a kayak and head to Mallows Bay in Nanjemoy, MD to see the Ghost Fleet of the Potomac. The company proceeded to extract They had been sent to the bay in the early years of the last century to be destroyed, but instead were abandoned and now linger in varying states of decay. Consult tide tables before visiting, as the vessels are best seen at low tide. desperate call for help in wartime. The older I get, the more I enjoy history, which is not all that uncommon from what I am learning. Due to COVID-19, we are now requiring reservations at least 24 hours in advance of requested date. We undertook building A kayak trip through Mallows Bay is a fun way to explore the largest shipwreck graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. The 14-square mile Each 3-hour tour is guided; a snack and bottled water are provided; all participants use tandem kayaks; beginning-level kayakers are welcome. We do not rent kayaks for off-site use at Mallows Bay or elsewhere. Protect and Preserve Mallows Bay! than 20 years and the first ever in the Chesapeake,” she said. My seasoned kayak buddy knew better and carted his camera along to Mallows Bay — recently designated as a marine sanctuary — is a former dumping ground for over 200 shipwrecks dating back to the civil war. "Charles County operates Mallows Bay Park. capture at a few moments of the memorable trip. The nomination to have the bay designated as the first National Marine Sanctuary in 20 years was announced by President Obama in 2015. These wrecks have grown new life as native plants have grown new roots atop them and formed a unique ecology unlike anyplace else. "With my colleagues, I was able to assemble a team to reach out to public and private institutions, Kayaking among the Ghost Ships of Mallows Bay I never knew kayaking could be so much fun until I tried it. Now I’m hooked and am looking forward to my next excursion, step was to get organized, then engage the public,” said Shomette. “BEWARE OF HIDDEN WRECKS. But for a small has been hard at work to ensure that the site gets the recognition it deserves. A 0.8-mile trail loops around Mallows Bay Park and the salvage basin. All tours will be led by an experienced and knowledgeable guide. , Atlantic Kayak ran a well-organized, informative, professional tour operation from start to finish. “Mallows Bay has the largest collection of historic Mallows Bay was declared a … In 2014, NOAA invited communities across the nation to nominate their most treasured places in the country's marine and Great Lakes waters for consideration as national marine sanctuaries. Learn more about guided kayak tours by clicking here. onsite. a monument to our nation’s evolving role in the world.”, A photo taken during my kayak trip. Gravel parking for 20 trailers. seeking the designation and we’re thrilled that Mallows Bay is just a step What is very interesting about this park is that it provides public access to the Ghost Ships of Mallows Bay. Kayaking Mallows Bay Abandoned Ship Graveyard. Please call us at 301-292-6455 to make your reservation. Mallows Bay Kayak Tour This program is currently unavailable. For once, I wished I hadn’t listened. overhead and osprey constructing huge nests on the peaceful wreckage that was If you are a kayaker, canoeer or overall just love the water this is a must see! Kayakers get up close to one of the many shipwrecks in Mallows Bay (Photo: Judy Lathrop), The Most Serene Republic: The Splendors of Venice, Exploring the Mysteries of World Heritage Sites: Easter Island, Smithsonian Kids Online Privacy Statement. The Charles County Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism offers guided kayak tours of Mallows Bay from May-October. Mallows Bay, a shallow embayment off the Nanjemoy Peninsula, is the site of this fascinating “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. (Photo credit: Daryl Byrd, courtesy of MDNR). More than 100 species of birds nest there and cohabit with other These are WWI wooden ships that were abandon. I've always enjoyed ghost tours. the valuable metal and burn the hulls to the waterline to assist in the process. Charles County offers a three-hour, 2 ½ -mile kayak tour of Mallows Bay ($75 per person for a two-person kayak) or a shorter 1 1 / 2 -hour tour ($49 … The shipwrecks have recently received federal protection, as part of a new national marine sanctuary. My friends warned me that I’d get wet and cautioned against taking along a camera. Judy and her assistants were very friendly and helpful and made sure all participants at different levels of expertise were comfortable with the kayaking. Because time was of the essence, the hastily and shoddily I felt fortunate to witness eagles soaring while paddling through Mallows Bay on the Potomac River. until I tried it. district. Get Directions. Mallows Bay Mallows Bay is a small bay on the Maryland side of the Potomac River in Charles County, Maryland, USA. Judy and her terrific co-workers made sure we knew what we were doing and they followed the tides so we had maximum exposure to the ships - which are so cool! Marine Base and located in Nanjemoy. Paddle through the World War I Ghost Fleet while observing the Mallows Bay Park's unique wildlife and historic and cultural features. Don Shomette, author of “The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay,” Hosted by. Mallows Bay Park offers outdoor enthusiasts walking trails, a boat ramp and kayak launch. creatures like river otter and beavers. If you're interested in a change of scenery, Winchester, Virginia is an interesting place to poke around. Come Join us for a scenic tour of the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay. All are available for public use at no cost. nation’s first attempts to function as a global power. Recently named a National Marine Sanctuary by NOAA. From April through October, Atlantic Kayak guides join other Mallows Bay by Kayak: A Tour of Maryland’s Proposed National Marine Sanctuary, the First in Chesapeake Bay On the Maryland side of the Potomac River, just east of Washington D.C. and west of Chesapeake Bay, the largest shipwreck fleet in the Western … Mallows Bay Park. (Photo: Courtesy of Reed Hellman). continues the journey towards national recognition. We saw so many Bald Eagles it was crazy, some Blue Herons, Osprey, Vultures, turtles, a swimming snake even! Gain a fresh perspective on a beloved local treasure with this mellow kayak tour of Mallow's Bay. Detailed information is emailed to all participants in advance. individuals, historians, colleges and museums to complete a proposal. Dr. This shallow embayment, and the waters immediately adjacent, boasts one of the largest assemblages of shipwrecks in the Western Hemisphere, known as the “Ghost Fleet” of Mallows Bay. All I know is that this first-time kayaker was plunked down is hoping that more people will take an interest in visiting the area as it kayakers to lead the way and share the story of “The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Woodrow Wilson approved one of the largest and most expensive shipbuilding Egrets build huge nests amidst the rotting remains of WWI warships. (Photo credit: Paula Shiller, courtesy of MDNR), An Osprey pair nest atop a ship. Located on the Potomac River only 30 miles downstream from our nation’s capital, Mallows Bay is renowned for its diverse collection of historic shipwrecks, recreational opportunities and scenic beauty. outmoded fleet to Western Marine and Salvage Company of Alexandria, Virginia They had been sent to the bay in the early years of the last century to be destroyed, but instead were abandoned and now linger in varying states of decay. Aerial photography by Jerry Jackson. circumstances, not our country’s will to succeed. Now I’m hooked and am looking forward to my next excursion, thanks to my enjoyable experience learning about an important era in history while paddling through Mallows Bay on the Potomac River. Mallows Bay is situated south of Washington, D.C., along the tidal Lower Potomac River off the Nanjemoy Peninsula of Charles County, Maryland. of his job as field technician for the then-named Maryland Department of Paddle through the WWI Ghost Fleet, the largest ship graveyard in the Western Hemisphere. It is popular to canoe or kayak among the ship ruins. Read More + Visit Website. the ships that now molder in Mallows Bay as an effort to answer our allies The "Ghost Fleet" is a diverse collection of shipwrecks of 200 known vessels. A special kayak launching area makes paddling access easy. Mallows Bay–Potomac River is a 18 square mile area of the tidal Potomac River adjacent to Charles County. The site was proposed to NOAA with broad-based community support to protect and celebrate the nation's maritime cultural heritage while expanding recreational, tourism, education, and economic development opportunities. Friends of Mallows Bay is a consortium of humans to support and encourage the selection of Mallows Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary. All kayak rentals include a paddle and … This means that during high tide, few of the vessels stand above the water. From April through October, Atlantic Kayak guides join other kayakers to lead the way and share the story of “The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay.” Guests glide among the decaying detritus of wooden steamships and learn that the structures were once part of a national effort dating back to WWI when Woodrow Wilson approved one of the largest and most expensive shipbuilding programs in history. included generating hundreds of pages of documentation to prove that the site That the effort failed was a result of Mallows Bay, a shallow embayment off the Nanjemoy Peninsula, is the site of this fascinating “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. Atlantic Kayak Company (AKC), a woman-owned business, has been providing fun, educational outdoor experiences in the Chesapeake Bay area since 1995.We share our passion for natural and cultural history with others through all of our programs! thanks to my enjoyable experience learning about an important era in history Kayakers and boaters hoping to view the Ghost Fleet should be aware that the waters of Mallows Bay are tidal. Share this event with your friends. We'll provide kayak w/paddle vest, lunch and a bit of history on the historic ghost fleet. Mallows Bay Park offers excellent outdoor recreation opportunities. He describes the reaction of Dr. Jim Delgado, former Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife. Press play to hear an audio version of this story. Tremendous wildlife viewing areas, single ramp small boating (shallow water) access to the Potomac River, kayak launch, fishing and hiking. closer towards becoming the first National Marine Sanctuary designated in more Creepy! Chesapeake Bay Affairs, said that time has taken its toll. Parking is available on site. I remember little about my great-grandfather Ignatz Kalina. The flora is equally fascinating, from towering sycamores to an array of edible and medicinal plants such as wild rice, duck potato, and pawpaw. area, located in Charles County Maryland, is well within sight of Quantico Chesapeake Conservancy is proud to be a lead partner in the steering committee Click here to view all of our current programs. WAMU’s Jacob Fenston and Tyrone Turner visited Mallows Bay, by canoe and kayak, to document the unusual waterscape the shipwrecks have created. The marine historian has been taking steps Kayaking with the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay Posted on November 21, 2011 by David Sunday, November 20, 2011. For me, Mallows Bay stands as In 2010, the Charles County Government opened a small park near Mallows Bay to improve access to the site. (Photo: Courtesy, Reed Helman). The "ghost fleet" of Mallows Bay is now protected as a national marine sanctuary. Accommodations: Mallows Bay Park is well maintained, has clean porta-johns, parking, some picnic tables, and an excellent put-in, with both a boat ramp and a canoe/kayak launch back in an inlet. 2018-10-07 9:00:00 2018-10-07 12:00:00 America/New_York Mallows Bay Park Kayak Tours Paddle through the World War I Ghost Fleet while observing the park's unique wildlife and historic and cultural features. the vantage of a tiny kayak opens wide a window into the history of one of our constructed ships were rendered almost obsolete from the onset, yet work Mallow's Bay on the Potomac River is host to the largest fleet of shipwrecks in North America. Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge Center, The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Omni Bedford Spring's Resort Stands the Test of Time, Music, Art, Architecture and More in Historic Winchester, Virginia, A Stay at an Amish Tobacco Farm-Turned Luxury Inn, Paired with an Over-the-Top Meal, Sharing the Charm of Sharon, Pennsylvania, Visiting Lancaster's Conestoga House and Gardens, Daytripping along the Lafayette Trail in Havre De Grace, Learning about the Life of My Coal-Mining Great-Grandfather on a Visit to Scranton, Pa, Ghost Adventures in Maryland and Pennsylvania. heart of the fleet this time.”, Hellman highly recommends the trip. Local outfitter Atlantic Kayak Company provides guided kayak tours of Mallows Bay on Sundays through October. as an historic and archeological The boat ramp is located at 1440 Wilson Landing Road, Nanjemoy, MD.

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