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mallows bay

Mallows Bay - A Historical Treasure

Welcome to NOAA’s Mallows Bay – Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary virtual trail. A collaboration between the sanctuary, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Terrain360, this website will take you on a virtual tour of the remarkable aspects of the sanctuary waters and the park that leads you to them, all with a 360-degree view. Choose from multiple hiking trails and water trails, or explore different themes, such as shipwrecks or ecology. On each trail, don’t miss the interactive “hotspots” that highlight photos, videos, and interesting facts about the unique features of Mallows Bay.

Click along the maps on each page to start your virtual exploration or jump right to your favorite hotspot!
At Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary, the sanctuary protects and interprets the remnants of more than 100 World War I-era wooden steamships – known as the “Ghost Fleet” – and other maritime resources including indigenous history and culture dating back nearly 12,000 years. This is where the synergy of history and nature provide a truly unique experience. There is something for everyone, whether you prefer to walk the shore, view wildlife, fish, or paddle the waters. The shipwrecks emerge at low tide and provide habitat important to osprey, bald eagles, herons, and an array of fish, plants, and animals.
To learn more about Mallows Bay-Potomac River National Marine Sanctuary visit our website!

Water Trails

Explore the Shipwrecks and Ecology at Mallows Bay

Click Here
explore the Shipwrecks virtually

Hiking Trails

Explore the trails at Mallows Bay

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Explore the trails of Mallows Bay

Interactive Map


Due to the location of the park, during an emergency please call the Charles County Sheriff’s Department, they will connect caller with the county 911 services.
The number is 301-932-2222
*Please install this number on your device.


  • COLD WATER TEMPERATURES ARE HAZARDOUS TO PADDLERS. Paddling is recommended between May and September.
  • WHEN PADDLING IN WIND, STAY CLOSE TO SHORE. • RESPECT WILDLIFE. Animals and birds should be viewed from a distance.
  • BEWARE OF HIDDEN WRECKS. It is dangerous to travel through the central shipwreck cluster, especially during high tide when ship remains lie just below the waterline and are invisible to the paddler.

Getting There

Primary access points for the sanctuary include Mallows Bay Park in Maryland and Widewater State Park in Virginia, with both sites offering a boat ramp and a kayak launch. Paddling in the sanctuary is recommended between May and September to coincide with favorable weather and water conditions. It is recommended that you check the current conditions before planning a trip. Fishing in the sanctuary is permitted with a State of Maryland Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fish License. This is a great place to catch snakehead, largemouth bass, bluegill, white perch, and blue catfish.

Mallows Bay Park

1440 Wilson Landing Road Nanjemoy, MD 20662
(301) 932-3470
Get Directions

Include a boat ramp, soft launch, portable toilets, parking, walking trail, interpretive signs, and picnic area.

The park is open daily from 5:30 am to sunset.

Mallows Bay Current Conditions

October 2, 2023 04:30 AM

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Water Temperature

Maryland DNR Buoy



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Additional Weather Data
"Eyes on the Bay" Water quality Buoy Information Click Here maryland DNR logo

Mallows Bay 360° Video