Paddling through the trails of Tangier Island offers a unique opportunity to explore the marshes, discover wildlife, and view the workings of the Chesapeake Bay watermen. Watercraft, especially small boats, have been and continue to be an integral part of Tangier. Many day-to-day activities are centered around boats and access to the water. Five color-coded trails lead through and around the island.

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Review of Tangier Island Water Trails

Active and Adventure Review of Tangier Island Water Trails

Away Travel Editor: Alistair Wearmouth
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Editor Rating 4.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Sea Kayaking
Editor Tips & Helpful Hints
  • Look out for stingrays in the shallow waters around Cod Harbor, part of the Orange Trail that leads through the island's Main Gut and out into the Chesapeake Bay marshes.
  • Other great paddling options include eight-square-mile Martin National Wildlife Refuge on Smith Island, north of Tangier, where one of the largest groups of East Coast great blue herons nests. The paddle between Tangier and Smith islands is also a rewarding day trip (plan about six hours for the seven-mile leg).
  • REI Adventures ( offers a four-day "Island hopping Chesapeake Bay" sea-kayaking trip, which takes in the marshes and channels around Smith and Tangiers, secluded sandbar camping, and a night at Hilda Crockett's B&B (hearty dinner and breakfast included).


Visitor Information

The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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