On May 1st the weather finally warmed enough for our first kayaking trip of 2018. DELMARVA’s April weather was abysmal, and with cabin fever raging, we impatiently waited for Spring to arrive. May 1st promised to be a glorious spring day with bright blue skies. Finally, we were again on the water and delighting in the natural beauty of this land.
Broad Creek near Laurel, DE seemed the perfect location for this first trip. An advantage to Broad Creek is it offers the option of a one way paddle by leaving a car at the take out. Checking the tides, we determined we could launch from Phillips Landing Park, near the junction of Broad Creek and the Nanticoke, just past low tide. Timing our launch to the incoming tide, plus the added benefit of a southwest wind often at our backs, resulted in an easy paddle upstream nearly seven miles to the take out in Laurel.
We never expect much on Broad Creek and are amazed every time by the wildlife. Osprey nests can be found on nearly every channel marker and in some dead trees. While paddling upstream we counted at least six nests, each with a pair of osprey. All along our route we saw bountiful sightings of turtles, osprey, bald eagles, herons, ducks, egrets and belted kingfishers. We even believe we saw several wood ducks but the fast flying birds did not give us enough time to obtain photographic proof.
The paddling weather was spectacular, and even though there are a fair number of houses along the creek we saw only a handful of people and a few fisherman. Of course one boater in a bass boat did show off how fast he could go, never once slowing down as he passed close to us. This rarely happens. We rounded one bend and spotted this “tiny house” houseboat which is new since last year and showed signs of residence.
The last two miles of this trip on Broad Creek the shoreline is wooded with pines and hardwoods. It’s in this location where the eagles and herons mainly spend their time. At one point three eagles, two herons, and a possible pair of wood ducks flew in front of us. All in all it was a good way to start the kayaking season and we hope to have more to report soon.
Launch site: Phillips Landing Recreation Area, Laurel, DE. Plenty of parking and port-a-johns.
Take Out: Roger C. Fisher River Park, Laurel, DE. (No facilities)