Now that fall is well underway, I’m trying to fit as much paddling in to my schedule as I can before it gets too cold. Today, we headed to the eastern shore, put in at the Wye Island public canoe/kayak launch on Granary Creek, and paddled out to Pickering Creek Audubon Center and back. The total distance was around 6.5 miles. A large portion of the route was on the Wye River. This stretch had a lot of boats, most of which were stationary or slow-moving and appeared to be fishing or crabbing. We did not see any recreational boat traffic, and only had to deal with a very occasional wake. Weekends might be a different story, though. Once we entered Pickering Creek, we had the water to ourselves. We paddled until it got too narrow/shallow, then turned around, and I took out briefly at the Audubon Center and found a cache. There is a canoe launch next to the boat house, although the take-out is a little bit tricky because it is at a set of stairs (similar to the Wye Island launch, actually). It was nice to get out and stretch before paddling back. We had a slight headwind the rest of the way, but not enough to really slow us down. I was still dragging a bit from the cold I’ve been battling for the past 3 or 4 days, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from getting out on the water on a beautiful day, especially at this point in the season. Although I was slowing down somewhat by the time we finished, I felt OK for most of the paddle. It probably helped that I slept almost 10 hours last night.
One of these years, I would like to come here and circumnavigate Wye Island. I read somewhere that it is 12 to 13 miles, which is definitely doable, especially if there are places to take out periodically and stretch.
A few quick notes about the Wye Island launch: while there are picnic tables and grills, there are no bathroom facilities. Launch is at the bottom of a set of stairs. There is a kayak ramp to facilitate put-in, but need to bring rope to use it effectively. Put-in will be easiest at low tide. Closed November through March for wintering waterfowl.