Nanticoke River Water Trail
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description:

The Nanticoke is about 63 miles long from its headwaters in Delaware south to Tangier Sound in Dorchester County, Maryland. The river possesses regionally and nationally significant natural, recreational, and cultural values. Significant acreage is protected by Wildlife Areas and natural heritage sites along the river in Sussex County, DE and in Dorchester and Wicomico counties, MD.

River edges are lined with marshland, sandy shores, and low vegetated cliffs. Much of the land along the river corridor is undeveloped and privately owned, but portions of private land are protected by non-profit organizations. As such, the river corridor is ideal for wildlife including migratory birds. Bass fishing, boating, kayaking, and canoeing are activities currently enjoyed on the river.

For information on the water trail in Delaware, including a list of public access points visit this site You can also visit for helpful hints and ideas on trip planning on and near the river

You can also purchase a copy of the new water trail map here
Address: Nanticoke River Water Trail

Operating Hours: Access and hours of public launch sites varies; consult individual parks for current information as you plan your trip.
Fees: Many public launch sites have seasonal fees; check with managing agency for current information.
Visitor Facilities:

Recreational boat traffic on the river is steady and tends to originate in the Seaford area and head south. Two boat launch access sites – Phillips Landing and Seaford – provide year-round direct access to the Nanticoke River. Each site has multiple ramps, portable toilets, and parking. A single, soft landing is located at the Seaford Canoe Launch. A floating ramp for access and temporary dockage is available at the Seaford River Walk. Fishing access is located at the River Walk and River Park (both in Seaford), and Phillips Landing. Picnic facilities are found at River Park, Phillips Landing and Blades Marina. Shared-use trails for hikers and equestrians are located in the Nanticoke Wildlife Area.

Newly-renovated and pedestrian-friendly, shops, business services, the Seaford Museum, and historic sites are located in downtown Seaford, just one block from the River Walk on High Street. Across the river from Seaford is the small town of Blades, host to the Nanticoke River Marina. This is the only recreational marina on this stretch of the river and is open Thursday through Sunday from 8am to 5pm during boating season, and currently offers limited services to the general public.

Accessibility: State and federal parks have ADA accessible facilities; other sites will vary.
Safety Info: Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network, the National Park Service and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. [View a list of water safety tips]
River Classification: Read more about the different levels of River Classifications.

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY