Riverfest marks opening of Corsica water trails
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.
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.