Blackwater Trip Info PacketThank you for registering for beginner kayaking trips with Potomac Paddlesports! This packet of information is provided to help keep you organized and ensure that you are fully prepared for your event(s). Please review all of this information carefully at least one week prior to your event. You may contact us at any time with questions by texting or calling 301-881-2628.
This packet contains the following:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.
- IMPORTANT: Have all of your participants created an account, pre-completed our electronic risk form, and have they been scheduled along with you? Please make sure! Only those individuals whose names appear on our schedule will be able to participate in any event. Your purchase is not a reservation. Please text or call 301-881-2628 if you need assistance with our online process.
- You have up to two years from your first trip to complete any membership package.
- Please schedule or re-schedule your events online using your scheduling login - and check your wait list status regularly - wait listing for an event is a commitment on your part to attend. We recommend checking on Monday and Thursday before weekend events. You WILL NOT be notified when you are automatically moved off the wait list, so be sure to check using your scheduling login. The roster generally solidifies the week of the event and we make final adjustments to capacity at that time. Adjustments made on a Friday that result in your being added are accompanied by a manual text and phone call from us. Please respond promptly. Remove yourself from the wait list if you can no longer attend. CLICK HERE FOR YOUR SCHEDULE PAGE.
- You have up until 72 hours before start time to reschedule (please do so online). Guests who do not reschedule in time or don’t show up forfeit their trip. No exceptions are made to this policy and we do not offer refunds.
- Please do not wait until the last minute to prepare for your trip.
- Please arrive and be prepared fifteen minutes prior to your trip start time. (Late arrivals will not be admitted.)
- Personal floatation, paddle, and kayak are provided at no charge.
- Although our beginner trips do not include intentional capsizing, you could accidentally end up in the water. Therefore, in the spring and fall we require that all participants wear synthetic clothing that dries quickly. Patagonia Capilene is great for such a situation and it can be worn under basic nylon pants and jackets. Long pants are a good idea on many beginner trips, as is a simple plastic poncho.
- On some trips, you will have to help carry your kayak on two short portages.
- Store your car key in a “Hide-a-Key” box or similar somewhere on your vehicle.
- You may repeat any trip at a discounted rate of 10%. Please call our registration office for further information.
- All trips meet rain or shine. A decision to postpone due to lightning or other dangerous conditions is made on-site at the last possible minute. (Mother Nature often cooperates if we wait and see.)
- For your safety and enjoyment, we request that you keep your personal information up to date via your schedule page. Please log in and update your info at www.potomacpaddlesports.com.
List of Things to Bring
The following list of things to bring is for your comfort, safety, and enjoyment of your on-water experience with us. ALL ITEMS ARE STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.
April-May and September-November
- Windproof nylon Jacket and pants - an inexpensive poncho goes over everything and retains warm body vapors is good to have in the event of an accidental capsize in cooler weather.
- Synthetic under-layers Year Round
- One liter of water
- Waterproof snack (Clif Bar, etc.)
- Allergy medication (required for all severe reactions such as bee stings, peanuts, asthma, etc.)
- Shoes that can get wet and have excellent traction.
- Sun hat
- Insect repellant (Optional)
- Binoculars (Optional)
- Waterproof bird guide (Optional)
- Eyeglass strap (so you don’t loose your expensive prescription lenses)
- Towel and change of clothes (In case you capsize.)
- Tips for guide (Suggested)
Directions to Event LocationThe Blackwater trip is held at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, MD. For alternate routes, google “2145 Key Wallace Drive, Cambridge, Maryland 21613.”
From DC, Baltimore and Annapolis:
- Take Route 50 east towards the Bay Bridge
- Cross over the Bay Bridge (toll required)
- After about 9.5 miles, merge onto Ocean Gateway/US-50 towards Ocean City.
- After 34.8 miles, turn right onto Church Creek Rd/Gypsy Hill Rd/MD-16.
- After 7.3 miles, turn left on MD-335/Church Creek-Golden Hill Rd.
- After 3.8 miles, turn left onto Key Wallace Rd.
- After 0.8 miles, the Blackwater Visitor’s Center will be on your right.
- Park in the Visitor’s Center parking lot and look for the Potomac Paddlesports and guides. Carpooling will be required as a condition of our permit. Please plan to carpool with other guests.
PLEASE have your clothing and supplies ready to go fifteen minutes prior to start time so that we can start promptly. style="border:0" frameborder="0" height="450" width="700">