I rode the Kent Island South Trail from Matapeake State Park to Romancoke Wharf County Park/Romancoke Fishing Pier in August. I was there on a Monday afternoon and there was plenty of parking and no fee to park your vehicle. Can’t say what it’s like on the weekends. Water and rest rooms are available and there’s a beach with a great view of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
The trail parallels Route 8 and alternates between shady and open sections. The shade was welcome on this hot August day and the smell of pine trees was pleasant.
The trail is fairly close to the road most of the time so you do hear the vehicles. However, it’s much quieter than riding along the shoulder of the road, since Route 8 can have a fair amount of traffic at times.
The trail is somewhat twisty in areas. Many of the tree-lined sections have lumpy spots from the roots pushing the pavement up. There are also a number of small roads and driveways to cross – many of which have stop or yield signs for trail users. I was in no hurry and was on a bike with wider and lower pressure tires, so some bumps and slowing for road crossings weren’t a concern. If you’re looking to ride fast, it would be better to take the broad shoulder on the main road.
I didn’t see another biker on the entire ride and only two runners. I can’t comment on how it would be on weekends. As on any ride, it would be good to carry an extra tube, patch kit, tire levers, pump, and basic tools in addition to a cell phone in case of a mechanical issue with your bike.
There was a strong wind when riding south. A little tough on the way out, but this made the return trip easy with the wind at my back.
The trail ends at the Romancoke Wharf County Park/Romancoke Fishing Pier. You’ll find rest rooms and a water fountain there. No bikes are allowed on the long pier, but you can walk out to the end for a good view of the water.
If you feel like riding a bit more, you can go back north on the trail and make a left on Kent Point Road. It quickly transitions to rougher chipseal asphalt. However, the road surface was not too rough and more than made up for it with the lack of vehicle traffic, beautiful countryside/farms, and views of wildlife (I saw two deer, two osprey, and an egret).
Three stars for the trail itself, but four stars overall for the water views and enjoyable side trip along Kent Point Road.