The mighty Susquehanna is the largest non-navigable river in the United States, more than 400 miles long and one mile wide in places. On its banks are prospects for all sorts of outdoor activities, as well as antiquing, touring historic sites, outlet shopping and even playing slot machines. This byway is part of the Great Chesapeake Bay Loop where you can have a Chesapeake adventure.
Havre de Grace to Conowingo Dam
Including MD 155, MD 161 & US 1
Formerly a busy Colonial port, Havre de Grace is now famed for its antiques shops, leisure activities and waterfront dining. The best place to relax and enjoy the Bay in this “Harbor of Grace” is Tydings Park, home to a playground, fishing pier, boat ramp and municipal marina. The park also serves as the site of art shows, a seafood festival and summer concerts. A half-mile-long waterfront promenade leads to the fully restored Concord Point Lighthouse.
Havre de Grace museums are dedicated to rich maritime traditions and display some of the world’s finest examples of hand-carved waterfowl decoys.
As you head out of town, the Steppingstone Museum’s stone farmhouse and adjacent display barn offer insights into a proud agricultural heritage. You’re also near the remains of the Principio Iron Works, targeted by the British during the War of 1812.
Amid the heavy forest cover and massive rock outcrops of Susquehanna State Park, camping, mountain biking and fishing are popular pursuits. In addition, the park features historical sites such as a working grist mill, 14-room stone mansion and former toll house.
Enjoy a sidetrack to Darlington on Rt. 1 to admire the nature and power that surrounds the 80-year-old Conowingo Dam. Hawks, great blue herons and bald eagles are often spied over Conowingo Reservoir, which has been praised for its bass fishing and bird watching.
Spend a little time hiking, biking or canoeing through the 2.2-mile Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway. Major trailheads are found at the dam and within Susquehanna State Park.
See more of Lower Susquehanna
Lovers of finely crafted wines will surely appreciate the remarkable artistry and craftsmanship of traditional Maryland decoy carvers. Located on the banks of the Susquehanna Flats, Havre de Grace's Decoy Museum deck is also a great spot to see the great, migratory flocks of waterfowl that depend on the Chesapeake.
The Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace is open on weekends from April through October and is a favorite spot for weddings.
Allow yourself time to walk or bike throughout historic towns such as Havre de Grace and Port Deposit, as well as Susquehanna State Park.
Walk along the Susquehanna waterfront promenade near the Concord Point Lighthouse for spectacular views of the river and Upper Chesapeake Bay.
Photo By: City of Havre de Grace
Port Deposit to Perryville
Including MD 222
On the east side of the river, Port Deposit features many residences that date to the early 1800s. Accessible from Main Street, a brick-and-stone, 75-step staircase leads visitors above the town and allows a spectacular view of four bridges that cross the Susquehanna River. A riverwalk at Tome’s Landing also features terrific waterfront vistas.
In Perryville, a tavern building dates to the Revolutionary War and was visited by both George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. Along with the historic charm of the town, Perryville also has a 21-store outlet center and 1,500 Vegas-style slot machines at the Hollywood Casino, both of which are easily accessible from I-95.
Take a Side Trip
West of Havre de Grace, Aberdeen features Ripken Stadium, home of the IronBirds, a minor-league baseball team.