River­fest marks open­ing of Cor­sica wa­ter trails

Record Observer - - News -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The grand open­ing of the Cor­sica River Wa­ter Trails will be cel­e­brated dur­ing River­fest at the Cen­tre­ville Wharf and Land­ing on Sun­day, May 15, the fes­ti­val prom­ises fam­ily fun that in­cludes guided kayak tours, a youth fish­ing derby and pic­nick­ing.

The free fes­ti­val from noon un­til 4 p.m at the wharf on Wat­son Road in Cen­tre­ville will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to en­joy the wa­ter­front set­ting and see first-hand the suc­cess of ef­forts to re­store the Cor­sica River. River­fest is spon­sored by The Cor­sica River Con­ser­vancy and the Town of Cen­tre­ville. Both have joined with Queen Anne’s County Parks & Land­ings to help es­tab­lish the new wa­ter trails.

The Mary­land De­part­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources has added three trails on the up­per Cor­sica River to the state’s ex­ten­sive wa­ter trail sys­tem, map­ping out routes for kayak, ca­noe or pad­dle board that iden­tify nat­u­ral fea­tures and his­toric sites along the way.

Free maps will be avail­able at River­fest, as well as ed­u­ca­tional ex­hibits and ac­tiv­i­ties that fo­cus on pro­tect­ing the river and the wa­ter­shed.

Com­merce Street Cream­ery will also be on site sell­ing hot dogs, bare­cue sand­wiches, ice cream floats and other treats. Guests also can opt to bring a pic­nic lunch to en­joy in the river­front park.

Bring your kayak, ca­noe or pad­dle board to join the fun and ex­plore the wa­ter trails, or rent one at the wharf, where a con­ve­nient launch­ing ramp is lo­cated.

“For those who don’t usu­ally get out on the Cor­sica River, this is a great op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the water­way and learn about how to help pro­tect and pre­serve it for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions,” said Frank DiGialleonardo, vice pres­i­dent of Cor­sica River Con­ser­vancy, a vol­un­teer en­vi­ron­men­tal group ded­i­cated to stew­ard­ship of the Cor­sica River.

“The Cor­sica has been un­der an in­ten­sive state spon­sored restora­tion for the last decade,” he said. “Im­prove­ments are be­com­ing ev­i­dent all along the river and its trib­u­taries.”

Pad­dle craft also can be launched at Cen­tre­ville’s Mill­stream Park.

Those who wish to do so may wind their way down Mill­stream, one of three Cor­sica River Wa­ter Trails, to its end at the Cen­ter­ville Wharf and Land­ing, or fol­low the walk­ing trail be­side the stream from the park to the wharf.

The other two trails are Yel­low Bank and Alder Branch, both of which orig­i­nate at the Cen­ter­ville Wharf and of­fer breath­tak­ing views of wildlife and other river scenery.

Whether boat­ing on the water­way, walk­ing along one of its trib­u­taries or just sit­ting by the shore­line, the Cor­sica River abounds with in­cred­i­ble nat­u­ral beauty. Com­mon sights in­clude bald eagles, osprey, blue and green heron, king­fish­ers and mi­grat­ing ducks and geese, said Steven A. Miller, pres­i­dent of Cor­sica River Con­ser­vancy.

“Ven­tur­ing fur­ther up the creeks you are trans­ported into an­other en­vi­ron­ment of peace­ful soli­tude where tur­tles drop off of logs, heron nest in ex­ten­sive rook­eries, muskrat swim busily along the shore­line and some­times there’s even a reclu­sive river ot­ter who cu­ri­ously pops his head above the wa­ter’s sur­face,” said Miller.

Sea­sonal flow­ers bloom along the shore­line in­clud­ing col­or­ful na­tive hi­bis­cus and iris. Many ar­eas of shore­line along the river have been re­stored to in­clude a va­ri­ety of na­tive grasses and other veg­e­ta­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Queen Anne’s County Of­fice of Tourism at 410-6042100 or www.cor­si­cavier­con ser­vancy.org.

PHOTO BY ALEX WOLF

Cen­tre­ville res­i­dent Nick Labrie works with his daugh­ter Alaina to pad­dle their kayak along the Wharf in Cen­tre­ville dur­ing the 2014 Fam­ily Fun Night. Guided kayak tours of the Cor­sica River Wa­ter Trails will be avail­able dur­ing River­fest.

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