Student Life Editor
Chestertown is only one of many gems tucked away on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and now that the warm weather is here to stay, try taking a study break to pay some nearby locations a visit.
If you haven’t taken advantage of Washington College’s proximity to the Chester River, it’s not too late to enjoy the mile walk through town down to the water. Wilmer Park offers a peaceful view of the river, and the potential to spot one of WC’s research vessels, the Sultana schooner, or the sailing team.
All WC students who have passed the swim test are able to sign out a college kayak to paddle up the Chester or down Radcliffe Creek, a tributary downstream of the boathouse. According to Waterfront Director Ben Armiger, kayaks can be used anytime between 12 and 5 p.m., seven days a week.
“Once the water warms up a few more degrees we will also offer stand up paddle boarding,” he said in a campus-wide email.
For those who would prefer to look at the water instead of paddle in it, the Cliff City Boat Ramp at Cliffs Point, just a 20-minute drive southwest of Chestertown, offers a picturesque view of the sunrise or sunset over the Chester. The dock is also a great place to fish for rock fish, white perch, and yellow perch.
Also a 20-minute drive west of Chestertown is the town of Rock Hall. The town has a number of attractions, including Get the Scoop, an ice cream stand, and Java Rock, a coffee shop and café with outdoor seating.
Rock Hall is also home to the musical venue, The Mainstay where WC students with ID can attend all shows free of charge and students have performed in the past. Visit the Mainstay website to see a list of their upcoming shows.
Both the Gratitude Marina and Ferry Park Beach in Rock Hall are located on the Chesapeake Bay. On a clear day, the Bay Bridge can be spotted from the overlook at Ferry Park.
Sophomore Bethany Ford visited Ferry Park beach earlier in the semester.
“It’s my favorite place to watch the sunset. You can’t beat ice cream and relaxing on the beach after a stressful week,” she said.
An additional ten minutes south of Rock Hall is the Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the 2,285-acre island provides a wide variety of habitats—including marshes, ponds, and grasslands—for waterfowl and other bird species.
The island has seven trails for visitors to hike, and fishing is permitted at three locations: Tundra Swan Boardwalk, Ingleside Recreation Area, and Bogles Wharf. Other popular destinations in the refuge include the Butterfly Garden and the Tundra Swan Boardwalk.
Junior Megan Klink travelled to the refuge with a group of students from her Greener Art, Greener Chemistry class.
“While we were there, we decided to cleanse ourselves of all negative energies in our bodies to focus purely on the nature and life around us. I was able to find some beautiful oysters on the beach which reminded me of home,” she said.
If you’re looking for a beach and don’t mind swimming in the bay instead of the Atlantic Ocean, Betterton Beach is also approximately a 20-minute drive north of Chestertown.
The waterfront has a bathhouse with public restrooms, a picnic pavilion, and 700 feet of shoreline access, according to the County of Kent website. Bring a picnic lunch or visit Barbara’s on the Bay next to the beach to feast on Maryland’s famous crab cakes.
The simplest way to enjoy the warm weather—especially if finals week requires remaining close to the library— is by soaking up rays on the Miller Library terrace, the campus green, or by the River Dorms.
Grab your sunglasses, sunscreen, and maybe your car keys, and make some time for an adventure before the semester comes to a close.