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Boating the Magothy River

Follow new Guide to “hidden gems”

You’ll find your way on the Magothy River with ease and insight with a copy of the brand-new Magothy River Water Trail Guide.
    “Our river is like a hand with a narrow opening between Gibson Island and Persimmon Point and Dobbins Island in the palm,” says 20-year Magothy River Association president Paul Spadaro. “But what’s really worth experiencing are the fingers and fingernails.”
    To enter and navigate the hand-shaped waterway, you’ll still need your charts and GPS for channel markers and depths. But this new guide shows you how to find 30 points of interest, including eight “hidden gems,” three accessible only to paddlers.
    Like Cooley’s Pond on Gibson Island, No. 15 on the map’s points of interest.
    “You could be 10 feet away,” says Spadaro, “and not realize that the reeds in front of you open up so you can paddle through the narrow entrance into a two -or three-area lake.”
    The three-by-five-inch foldout, water-resistant guide maps as well as lists the points of interest and anchorages on the river and includes distances. That’s the work of Brad Knoff.
    Neighbor Charles Germain has uploaded 16 videos to YouTube documenting the river’s points of interest: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wML7Du3qA0.
    While you’re online, you can test your river knowledge with a Magothy River Water Trail Trivia Game: www.magothyriver.org.
    The whole project is a volunteer effort, led by members Andrea Germain, Sally Horner and Sandra Spadaro. Printing and videography are supported by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.
    The Guide is part of the advocacy organization’s celebration of 70 years of achievement, from diverting from Cape Saint Claire a U.S. Navy seaplane base — it became the Patuxent Naval Air Station — to inventing the now-ubiquitous water index for reporting the health of rivers and the Bay, to inventing oyster gardening.
    Find your map in kiosks at Beachwood Park and Spriggs Farm Park, the two public launch sites for kayaks on the Magothy.