In the area of Wye Island, MD most paddlers opt for paddling around and near the island. Those who take the opportunity to paddle the East Wye River are in for a treat. There is very little boat traffic on the East Wye, and only a few homes.
Talbot County maintains a large public boat ramp at Wye Landing just across from the eastern end of Wye Island. There is no charge for car topped boats. On summer weekends this launch fills quickly with fisherman and it’s often necessary to park along the road after unloading your kayak. However, any time after noon you can nearly always find a spot by the ramp as the fisherman tend to leave by noon.
From the ramp, instead of paddling across to Wye Island, turn right up the East Wye River. There is a large cove on the western (left) side as you start upstream. Bald Eagles are nearly always spotted in this cove. Those will usually be the first of many bald eagles viewed on the East Wye River.
Our last trip on the East Wye was on a beautiful still day in early June. With the water like glass we left the boat ramp looking for birds. On a windy day the East Wye is rough and unforgiving.
Paddling upstream we passed several duck blinds. An active osprey nest sits on top of one of the first duck blinds you pass.
While we have only located one eagles nest in this area we suspect there are several more. On this trip the eagle sightings were constant, both mature and immature bald eagles flew from the trees as we approached.
The highlight of this trip was the heron rookery that exists on the East Wye. In early June the herons filled the pine trees sitting on their nests. We tied our kayaks to a branch on the far shore so we could sit and observe quietly. Every tree overflowed with herons. Quite a sight.
About four miles from the landing the East Wye splits and one begins to see extensive marsh grass. Up to this point hardwood forests border the river on both sides. Depending on the tide level one can continue up-stream on the left fork for another mile or so.
An immature bald eagle perched in a tree providing us with a good view. The one eagles nest we’ve located in this region is near where the river forks.
Every trip on the East Wye River furnishes abundant wildlife sightings. Eagles, herons and osprey abound in this area. We’ve paddled the East Wye in the spring and fall and it’s always spectacular. Be aware if the wind comes up the river becomes quite rough. Here is the GPS Topo Map of our trip.
Directions to Wye Public Landing: From Rt. 50 at Chesapeake College, Wye Mills, MD turn south on Rt. 213 which becomes Rt. 662. Continue about 2 miles to Wye Landing Rd. Right to landing at end of road.
Services: Port a john in parking lot; all other services in Easton.
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Categories: Bald Eagles, Eastern Shore Kayaking, wye east river
I love the Wye River and it’s smaller rivers, including the East Wye. You are correct, the area abounds with eagles, herons, and osprey. And perfect for kayaking! 🙂
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Thanks Donna! We do enjoy the East Wye and nearly always kayak just there when near Wye Island. We were thrilled we saw the heron rookery with most of the herons nesting this summer.
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