Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Explore MD Adventure Trip to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge & RAR Brewing

blackwater paddle


This past weekend we headed over the Bay Bridge to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (BNWR) for another adventure with about 40 of our CAP SUP friends! BNWR is located just half an hour south of Cambridge, MD on the Eastern Shore. The landscape at the refuge is mostly brackish tidal marshes surrounded by some mixed forest areas. We have been hosting this adventure trip annually in the fall for the past few years, and the weather was amazing Saturday! The clear skies and warm temperatures were reminiscent of the summer paddling we were all doing just a couple months ago.


kevin and brian gomes

Brian Gomes & Kevin

2 bald eagles

Two bald eagles perched on posts

It was the perfect place and time for viewing the amazing birds that migrate there for parts of the year and those who are considered residents of the refuge. With the help of Brian Gomes as our wildlife and wilderness guide on the trip, we got to see a handful of bald eagles and some waterfowl. In addition to Gomes, we had a full lineup of guides including the paddlebros & owners of Capital SUP, Chris and Kevin, and our experienced paddle guides, Mary, Paul, Leah and Blake!


After arriving and unpacking our gear at Shorters Wharf Boat Ramp, we got a feel for the direction of the tides and current. Taking turns, everyone either launched their own boards and kayaks or was launched out on their reserved Capital SUP equipment.


The strong tide led us to paddle eastbound under the bridge first, so we would paddle against the current on the way out and have it going in our direction on the way back. As the day went on, winds came in and we had a bit of a headwind paddling back in some areas, but everyone did an amazing job and kept the positive vibes going! Together, we paddled the winding waterways of the refuge about 3-3.5 miles out & then back, between the tall grasses and phragmite (also known as common reed). You’ve likely seen it all over the local waterways in Annapolis, but did you know that phragmite is actually an aggressive invasive species? It is now commonly found in the wetlands and shorelines of the Chesapeake region.


paul waiting in line at rar

Paul waiting to order at RAR

Throughout our 7-mile adventure, paddlers moved back and forth in the group from the front to the back of the pack, getting to socialize and enjoy each other’s company at a distance! We paddled for just over 3 hours total, launching starting at 11 a.m. and getting back gradually after 2 p.m. After returning, we packed up our cars and the Capital SUP van and most of us headed over to RAR Brewing in Cambridge, MD for some post paddle brews and food. RAR had a wide variety of their locally brewed beers on tap, including a wide range of ales, unique IPAs, two of which were ice cream flavored, and a couple of their funky sour beers!


Overall it was quite the adventure, filled with friends, fun, nature, and relaxation! We are so grateful for our Capital SUP community and the great turnout we had on Saturday. Our team is already looking forward to more adventures to come in the future. A big thank you to everyone who came out and paddled with us!


Attended the event and want to find yourself in our photo album? Couldn’t make it but curious to see what it was all about after reading our blog? Check out our Album from BNWR and follow our Capital SUP Media page on Facebook!


collage from BNWR