Maryland Coastal Bays

The Lewis Road Kayak Launch

Visit the Lewis Road Kayak Launch 
On Ayres Creek
8913 Lewis Road Kayak Launch


For more information call 410-213-2297 or click here!

 

History:

The 37-acre site, with approximately 450 ft. of shoreline is owned by the Town of Ocean City.  It was previously used as a municipal and rubble landfill from 1954 – 1980.  The area has since been cleaned of toxic materials, and was cleared by MDE in 2007 for public use, which is limited to the designated area. 

This public access was made possible through grants from the State Highway Administration and the Department of Natural Resources and the man-power of Town of Ocean City Department of Public Works, along with volunteer hours of local residents. 

As you travel on the upper portions of Ayres Creek you are in the southern third of the Holly Grove Swamp Area. This area has amazing biodiversity and is of great value to our Coastal Bays. More information on the Holly Grove Swamp Area is available further down this page.

Shoreline Marsh Restoration:

To restore valuable marsh along  the shoreline marsh grasses (spartina alterniflora and spartina patens) were planted in the launch area. Staff and volunteers also planted cypress trees donated by Spencer Rowe and Gene Parker, local residents. These plants will help prevent shoreline erosion, give the site a more natural appearance, and hopefully outcompete invasive species like phragmites and wisteria.


A hickory shad was recorded by the DNR. The shad was pulled from a seine net where Ayers Creek intersects Assateague Road.


Summer Intern April Israel plants saltmarsh grasses for their numerous benefits.

 

Plants and Wildlife:

In order to restore the site’s habitats and ecosystem benefits, eastern redbud, service berry, ink berry, winterberry, wax myrtle, swamp rose, & pepperbush were re-introduced to the area. Japanese wisteria, though beautiful and fragrant, is an invasive cousin of our native wisteria. It grows rampantly from the understory to the canopy and must be removed by volunteers periodically in order to protect native species. Keep an eye out for the wide variety of wildlife including: osprey, eagles, kingfishers, wild turkey, muskrat, skinks, fence lizards, box turtles, red-bellied water snakes, whitetail deer, and more. The creek itself boasts many species of saltwater and freshwater species since it is tidally brackish. A hickory shad was recorded by the DNR in September 2012. The shad was pulled from a seine net where Ayres Creek intersects Assateague Road. The fish is seen, along with needle fish, mullet, bluegill, and more, in the picture below.  

The Maryland Conservation Corps from Assateague and Pocomoke State Parks worked tirelessly to restore an area disturbed by earth moving equipment. They planted upland broomsedge, switchgrass, red cedars, and blackberry bushes.

  

Directions:

 

Directions to the site from Route 50: Turn south onto Route 611 (toward Assateague Parks) and make a right onto Sinepuxent Road. Make a left onto Lewis Road. The site will be on your right hand side at 8913 Lewis Road. 

Directions to the site From Assateague Road:From the intersection of Assateague Road and Stephen Decatur Highway, go north (left) and immediately turn left onto Lewis Road. After traveling a little more than a mile the entrance to the launch will be on your left at 8913 Lewis Road.

  

Rules and Regulations Signs at the site:


Above: Rules and Regulations (Posted onsite at the head of the parking lot)


Above: Entrance Sign

1: The site is open to the public from dawn to dusk.

  

The Holly Grove Swamp Area:

 

Pictured above is satellite imagery of the Holly Grove Swamp Area with a yellow border marking the targeted conservation area. 

The Holly Grove Swamp Area, with nearly 4,000 acres of contiguous forest within its boundaries is one of 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. The area contain the largest documented concentration of red‐bellied water snakes, a state rare species, in Maryland. The protection of the Holly Grove Swamp Area may provide

Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program
Coastal Bays Program