The Magothy River is one of Maryland’s hidden gems, but there is now a visual tool available that may make more people aware of the river and its many “hidden gems.
The Magothy River Association (MRA) launched an online water trail guide funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust. MRA members spent two years developing the Magothy River Water Trail Map and 17 videos, which zeros in on 30 points of interest and nine hidden spots that can easily be reached by kayaks and other small watercraft.
Chuck McMillin, 60, a kayak trail guide, has spent over a decade exploring the 67 miles of shoreline. He said one of the videos showed him how to access a cove hidden by tall grass.
“I think the map is making more people aware of the Magothy and these hidden spots,” McMillian said in an interview. “That will make people appreciate the river more and if they appreciate it more, they will respect it more and want to protect it more.”
In the last few years, water trails have grown in popularity. According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland has over 600 miles of designated water trails.
MRA’s videos utilize drone footage to provide a bird’s-eye view of the Magothy River. The old-fashioned map features a mileage chart that displays the distance from one highlight to another. Below the map is a brief description of each point of interest.
In recent years, the health of the Magothy has been declining. It was given a “D” grade in 2016, based on dissolved oxygen, acreage of submerged aquatic vegetation and water clarity.
Members of the river association’s board said their goal is to protect the river in every way possible. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in June to announce the launch of the water trail guide in a new kiosk at Spriggs Farm Park. Kayakers can now launch their watercraft from the park, as well as Beachwood Park.
The Magothy is now open to the public and the videos and guide will provide a road map to people who have never visited the river before.