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Backpacker Magazine – September 2012

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go-now guide

by: Steve Johnson (Heroes), Nathan Pipenberg (Pack Your Perfect Days), and Rachel Zurer

Janes Island (Kevin Moore)
Janes Island (Kevin Moore)
McAfee Knob (James Carroll Richardson/AGE Fotostock)
McAfee Knob (James Carroll Richardson/AGE Fotostock)

Pack Your: Dry Bag
Paddle to a backcountry beach in Janes Island SP, MD

An early autumn trip to this 3,147-acre park on the Chesapeake Bay’s eastern shore delivers sweet shoreline camping without the swarming summertime mosquitoes. But the bay can get rough any time of year, so be sure to waterproof your sleeping bag and key gear (we like the Outdoor Research Lateral Dry Bag; $39 to $69; From the park’s marina, paddle 3.6 miles south, into the Little Annemessex River (rent a kayak or canoe for $50/day; see park contact below). Follow brown water-trail signs past uninhabited coastal wetlands to your backcountry target: a tent platform on Long Point, a sandy six-acre spit of land cut off from the southeastern corner of the main island by a thin canal. The short trip is easy to extend—scope for nesting herons in the many waterways that permeate the island’s salt marshes or drop a bait line for peak-season blue crabs (see below; $10 license required; To return, retrace your route, or continue west past long stretches of sandbars and beaches while circumnavigating the island’s 13-mile coastline. Permit Reservations required for camping; $8

Contact 410-968-1565;

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