Annapolis and Ego Alley: Urban Paddle Guide
Nestled among an extensive web of interwoven waterways and the expansive Chesapeake Bay lies Annapolis, Maryland. Known for its abundance of history, sailing and locally caught seafood, the State Capitol of Maryland has a lot to offer locals and visitors alike. This includes interesting paddle destinations, like the waterway in Annapolis Harbor, just off the Severn River, known locally as Ego Alley.
Ego Alley is exactly that—a place where yachts and boaters go to see and be seen during summer months at the Annapolis City Dock. But, what you don’t typically see is standup paddlers, and if you do, they’ll surely be getting some hoots and interested looks from restaurant- and bar-goers posted up at one of the many buzzing establishments that line the water’s edge.
Located where Spa Creek meets the Severn River, “Ego Alley is a fun place to paddle to, with about eight public access points within a mile or so of the waterway, along Spa Creek and the Severn River,” says Annapolis local and Capital SUP co-owner Brian Meyer. Most access points typically offer street parking within a close proximity. Access varies between public parks and street end docks, and, “no matter where you put in along Spa Creek or the Severn, you’re going to be able to make it to Ego Alley, as well as the Chesapeake Bay,” Meyer says.
The Severn and waterways surrounding Ego Alley offer a variety of paddling conditions, which allow for all levels of standup paddlers. “Water conditions around Ego Alley are flat unless there’s wind, which changes frequently. Because of the changing wind direction and currents, we have downwinders, upwind paddles, or side-chop,” Meyer says. “Ego Alley dead ends in the heart of downtown, where you’ll have an awesome view of the U.S. Naval Academy to the northeast, the State House and downtown area.”
One side of the canal is lined with boat slips, but the other side of the canal boasts a handful of bars and restaurants that are accessible via SUP. Some bars and eateries have a dock for you to take out or tie-up to, like Pusser’s, which locals like Meyer say is a fun spot to grab a drink. Nearby are historic landmarks, marinas, and some of the oldest waterways in the country, not to mention a variety of SUP and kayak rentals and tours. So, next time you head to Annapolis, don’t forget your SUP, or rent one from the guys at Capital SUP. —Shari Coble
Urban Paddle Guide Info
Welcome to the 2015 Urban Paddle Guide presented by SUP ATX! Our mission is simple: build the best online resource for padding in towns and cities across the United States. Every urban area has unique places to paddle and we want your help finding out where those are! Enter your town in the Urban Paddle Guide now by sending us a picture(s), a brief description (no more than 350 words), then telling us about shops, restaurants and other resources as part of the entry form.
We’re prepared to reward you mightily. By entering, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a free trip to Southern California for the 2015 SUP Awards and the 2015 Pacific Paddle Games as well a brand new Lahui Kai board and paddle from SUP ATX.