The St. Mary's County Board of County Commissioners and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Community Services have invited the public to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Great Mills Canoe and Kayak Launch and the St. Mary's River Water Trail on Tuesday, October 3, 2006, at 3:30 p.m. The launch site is located off MD 5 south, at 20228 Point Lookout Road in Great Mills, Maryland (across from the Nationwide Insurance office). A convenient, fenced parking area is provided for patrons of the launch. The water trail begins at the Great Mills launch site, meanders under MD 5 to Adkins Road, then travels to St. Mary's City for a distance of approximately seven miles.
"The establishment of a canoe and kayak launch at this site will provide the opportunity for citizens to access the St. Mary's River Water Trail," stated Thomas F. McKay, President, Board of County Commissioners. "The river's natural beauty and important environmental significance will be evident to both experienced and novice paddlers."
St. Mary's County purchased the site in November 2004 using state and federal emergency mitigation funds. The two former apartment buildings were torn down to address safety concerns regarding frequent flooding. Mitigation requirements specified the land be converted to green space and the County's decision to establish a canoe/kayak launch near the headwaters of the St. Mary's River compliments the mitigation plan.