Trip Details

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Northern Loop Itinerary Details

    1) Travel to Baltimore, MD, dock and sightsee. Spend the night. Sightsee some more. Leave in the afternoon for Bush River (28 miles.) If you are not a fan of big cities, Bodkin Creek at the mouth of the Patapsco is a pleasant anchorage.

    2) Head up the Bush River (7 miles) after 5 p.m. Spend night off the rarely seen Otter Creek. Depart before 7:30 a.m. if on a weekday. There are no restrictions on weekends. Near the drawbridge, there are powerlines at a height of 35 feet.

    3) Head for Havre De Grace, MD, on the Susquehanna River (29 miles.) Wander through the town. Shop and have Lunch. Perhaps take a cruise on the skipjack Martha Lewis. Depart in late afternoon and head for Port Deposit, MD,  (4 miles,) the farthest reaches of Smith's exploration. Dock. Have dinner and spend the night in Port Deposit.

    4) Next morning, follow in Smith's footsteps as you explore Susquehanna State Park or Garrett Island by dinghy. Take the inside channel (if you have GPS) to Northeast River (8 miles.) Anchor, swim, fish, enjoy. In the afternoon, travel up to the town of Northeast, MD, on the Northeast River (15 miles total.) Have dinner, walk through the town. Stay the night or anchor out.                                   

    5) Leave Northeast River and Round Elk Neck State Park into the Elk River. Duck into the mouth of the Bohemian River to anchor, eat lunch, swim, etc. Continue to Sassafras River and anchor for the night in Turner's Creek (32 miles total) across from the village Smith called Tockwogh.     

    6) In the morning for breakfast, head up to Georgetown, MD, which is almost as far up as a modern powercruiser can explore. Smith, however, went a few miles farther to near the Rt. 301 bridge crossing. Head out of the Sassafras and down the Bay to Rock Hall, MD (45 miles total.) There are several great beaches for swimming along the way. Dock and eat crabs at Watermen's Crab House. Grab the trolley to town. Spend the night at harbor or go around the corner and anchor at Swan Cove. As you leave Rock Hall, look south and see if you can spot the entrance to the Chester River. Smith missed it and so the Chester was not mapped. 

    7) Return to Baltimore (23 miles.)

    In general there are plenty of places on this itinerary to dock and fuel up, although finding AC power is sometimes an issue. See here for pump out locations.


Finding the Crosses:   Smith placed 26 crosses on his 1612 map to mark the furthest reaches of his exploration and to claim the land for the Christian King James of England. Some he carved in trees, others were actually made of metal. There have been no historical reports of the crosses being found, however, the Indians probably used the metal to make tools within days of their placement. Tree bark regenerates very quickly and the carvings probably lasted less than 20 years.

Historical Quest:

   Most of the Northern Bay crosses have yet to be accurately pinpointed. If in your explorations, you find new evidence to more accurately locate the crosses, please email me. There are plans in progress (albeit slowly) to erect stone crosses at the nearest public sites to the mapped crosses. Recommendations are welcome (and needed!)

If you only have 3 days:

        1 day Baltimore, MD

      1 day Turner's Creek, Sassafras

      1 day Havre De Grace, MD


Pictures (from the top) Baltimore Inner Harbor; replica of John Smith boat at Port Deposit by Barbara Carroll-Ocasio; Elk Neck State Park, Turkey Point; Turner Creek Park fishing derby Sassafras River; North Point Marina, Rock Hall.