Finally! The weather is warming up and you’re itching to get and be active! Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore offers some great ways to do that this spring – with plenty of wide open spaces to keep things safe.
Explore some of the most beautiful landscapes and waterscapes on the Eastern Shore by bicycle on Dorchester’s flat and quiet roadways. Bring your own bike (if it needs a tune-up, head to On the Rivet) or rent one through Blackwater Adventures, which also offers guided tours through the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge, marshland, or farmlands (ending with a visit to Layton’s Chance Winery). Check out the Dorchester Cycling Guide, with suggested routes from 10 to 55 miles.
Grab the binoculars.
With tidal marshlands, forest, and farmland, Dorchester County is known for wildlife watching. Birding is popular now as wintering birds head home and other migrating birds pass through Dorchester along the Atlantic Fly-Way, a kind of super highway for migrating birds. Plus, the ospreys have returned to start nesting. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to look for bald eagles; this is the time of year they’re caring for their young. Check out our Dorchester Birding Guide. If you’re interested in birding and history, consider joining in a “Birding the Harriet Tubman Byway” tour. (Tubman was born here in Dorchester County.)
Row, row, row your vessel.
As the air – and the water – get warmer, you can start planning your paddling adventures, whether by kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard. Take a look at our Dorchester Paddling Guide for water trails, and check out stand-up paddle classes, sessions, and sunset paddles with Over Board Paddle & Fitness, as well as guided tours (wildlife, sunset, winery) with Blackwater Adventures.
Take a hike.
It’s a good time to go out walking with warmer temperatures. You’ll find trails at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and at the Robinson Neck Preserve on Taylors Island. Or just walk the waterfront at Long Wharf or the Dorchester Visitor Center, both in Cambridge. Tip: Wear boots! The ground tends to be very wet and muddy this time of year. MORE
Get out on the water.
Get your boat out of winter storage and back into the water! Nearly surrounded by water, Dorchester County has more than 1,700 miles of shoreline, several rivers, and many smaller waterways. Put in at one of the two dozen free, public boat ramps. Marinas include the Cambridge Municipal Marina (within walking distance of downtown Cambridge restaurants), River Marsh Marina at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay (where you can take advantage of the resort’s amenities), and Slaughter Creek Marina on Taylors Island (with a restaurant and beautiful sunset views). For the anglers, Dorchester County has become a hotspot for snakehead fishing. Read more about boating and fishing in Dorchester. Don’t have your own boat? Join a crabfeast, lunch, dinner, or sightseeing cruise on a riverboat through Choptank Riverboats.
And then it’s time to eat!
After a day of breathing in the spring air, settle in for some delicious local food and drink. We’re especially known for our local seafood (crab season begins April 1), fish, and oysters. Dorchester County is home to waterfront restaurants and tiki bars; seafood restaurants; ethnic restaurants including Indian, Mexican, Irish, French, and Italian/Thai (yes, together in one restaurant); a steakhouse; a BBQ joint; wine bars; a vineyard and winery; a microbrewery; down-home eateries with comfort and pub food; and more. See them all at a glance, plus whether they offer indoor dining, outdoor dining, or carry-out, in our DoCo Eats Guide, Pandemic Edition.