This restoration site is part of the Maryland Coastal Bay’s Trail to Restore the Shore project! Click on this story map link to learn more about this location and the other restoration sites part of this trail!
Located on Ayres Creek, this restoration project is owned by the Town of Ocean City and managed by MCBP. Physical address is 8913 Lewis Road, Berlin, Maryland 21811.
It is open to the public for non-commercial use of non-motorized watercraft.
Operating hours: dawn to dusk.
The Lewis Road Kayak Launch gives residents and visitors the opportunity to explore and appreciate the Holly Grove Swamp Area. This lesser know jewel of the Coastal Bays’ watershed consists of nearly 4,000 acres of contiguous forest within its boundaries and is one of the last strongholds of forested wilderness in northern Worcester County.
These flooded deciduous/pine mixed forests perform a variety of important services which include providing sources of clean fresh water to the bays, and habitat for forest interior species.
Forest species include ospreys, eagles, kingfishers, wild turkey, muskrats, skinks, fence lizards, box turtles, whitetail deer, red-bellied water snakes, and more. This area contains the largest documented concentration of non-venomous red-bellied water snakes; this snake is a Maryland rare and watched species.
The creek is tidally brackish and boasts of many saltwater and freshwater species.
Launch Site Guidelines
Previously used as a municipal/rubble landfill from 1954 to 1980, this 37-acre area was cleaned of toxic materials and cleared by the Maryland Department of Environment in 2007. There is limited public access to the 4,000-acre property and the only intent of this restoration project is to provide public water access to the sheltered upper region of Ayers Creek. The forested area and its inhabitants are protected.
When visiting the property, please respect the following rules:
- Please wear protective footwear in and out of the water. This is an old landfill so glass and sharp metal objects may be present.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash. Please be responsible and pick up pet waste. Again, glass and sharp objects may be present, so you want to protect your pet.
- No trespassing when the launch is closed.
- There is no trash pick-up, please take what you bring.
- Vandalism is subject to incarceration.
- Do not leave watercraft unattended.
Again, this property is specific to launching and retrieving non-motorized watercraft only. Violation of not staying in designated areas and adhering to guidelines could result in closure of this facility.