There is more than one way to see Great Falls and the great fall colors that encompass this natural marvel on the Potomac River.
Brent Walls is the Upper Potomac Riverkeeper, dedicated to helping people enjoy and protect the Potomac and the waters that flow into it.
He spends a lot of time outdoors, but he has also spent time inside a mall near Martinsburg, WV, staffing an information booth during a home show.
In 1926, a team from the Maryland Academy of Sciences took a load of dynamite 10 miles up the Susquehanna River from Havre de Grace and blew up Indian Rock at Bald Friar’s Ford.
They did it to save a piece of history.
The rock, a mighty boulder nearly as big as an island and close to the river’s north bank, was one of the East Coast’s finest examples of American Indian petroglyphs.
This summer, I decided to detour from the straight line of U.S. 13 on the way from Baltimore to Crisfield, MD. Instead of staying on the interstate, I remained on business Route 50 through Salisbury and made a right onto Nanticoke Road, then a left onto Whitehaven Road.
I meandered through stands of loblolly pines and past horses and pastures until the road ended at a river. Then, I waited two minutes for a boxy-looking boat to come across the river and pick me up.
Newtowne Neck is one of those places where there is still far more land than people. The priests who settled here in 1668 came for just that reason.
The club-shaped peninsula of Newtowne Neck protrudes from the north shore of the Potomac River about six miles south of Leonardtown in St. Mary’s County, MD. It’s bounded on one side by Breton Bay and on the other by Saint Clements Bay, where English colonists arrived on the Ark and the Dove in 1634.
The gates of the fort stood wide open. A cluster of hens scratched furiously through plant scraps near the foot of its weathered plank walls.
Inside, framed by the entrance, a young guard sat in a slice of shade against the nearest building. It was a warm day, but he wore breeches and stockings. His chest was layered in a long-sleeved linen shirt and heavy jerkin, crossed by a leather strap loaded with wooden flasks that carried gunpowder. If he leaned forward too far, his metal helmet gleamed in the sun.
I’ve always favored sinuousity, the curve in the path, the bend in the river, the course less straightjacketed.
With Chesapeake creeks like the one we’re paddling today, it’s the meanders that give us marshes and beauty, infuse our travels with what philosopher George Santayana referenced in his 1896 classic, “The Sense of Beauty”: “at every turn reawakening with a variation, the sense of the previous position…such rhythms and harmonies are delightful.
The best place to see eagles on the East Coast is not at a wildlife refuge, not in the wilderness of a forest or the remoteness of a rural corner.
The best place to see eagles is next to the Conowingo Dam, an enormous, 53-gate structure spanning the Susquehanna River about 5 miles below the Pennsylvania border.
Various Events and Activities around the the Chesapeake Bay for families and individuals.