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3 miles

Route Type



Added by Daniel Stricklin

Kayaking to Barren Island can take you far form society and deep into seclusion and the environment. Barren Island is an uninhabited island located only about 30 minutes from Cambridge, Maryland.

Barren Island is an uninhabited island located in the Chesapeake Bay. It is part of the Chesapeake Marshlands NWR Complex and is known to be a swan nesting ground, as well as an active restoration project led by Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, the FWS, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Maryland Conservation Corps, National Aquarium in Baltimore, as well as staff form the nearby Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. 

The nearest boat ramp and kayak put-in for the island is at Tylers Cove Boat Ramp. This boat ramp is a public boat ramp and offers parking. The distance from the boat ramp to the island is about 1.6 miles one way and can take on average 45 minutes to an hour to kayak. The large section of water that will be crossed during the kayak out or in, is Tar Bay, which due to its openness, can become slightly choppy at times, therefore wind, tide, and wave factors should be taken into account for beginner kayakers. 

The island is technically split into two landmasses with a thoroughfare in between them. The northern landmass of the island offers great beaches on the western side. The southern landmass of the island offers great trees to hammock from as well as one small beach. The beaches and sea bottom surrounding the island are made partially up of broken oyster shells or active oyster beds, therefore shoes are important to bring. 

This island poses a great opportunity to view wildlife as well. As mentioned above, it's a swan nesting ground and they can be spotted easily, as well as pelicans, and occasional deer sightings.  

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Stand Up Paddle
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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