Being in Rock Hall is a step back in time. Folks who visit get into that relaxed spirit without being aware or realizing the effect this place has on them. Some of our streets have sidewalks but many do not which is a part of our charm. While walking and biking throughout our town, please be safe by walking off to the side, biking single file, and obeying traffic laws. Please cross the street at the corner whenever possible and look both ways (just like you have told your kids to do) for oncoming vehicles. Drivers, please SLOW DOWN (follow the posted speed limits) and be considerate of the walkers, runners, and cyclists. And put the phone away. You came to RELAX, so please do so and enjoy the sights, don't just speed by! We take our time around here and so should you.
While walking, driving or just being in Rock Hall you will probably notice that most people wave in some form or another often lifting their hand off the wheel of their car, nodding their head or with a true wave if they are not driving. It’s very appropriate for you to initiate or return the wave. While walking you may find yourself engaging in a conversation with a local or perhaps another visitor, a way of life here.
Rock Hall is a delightfully charming little town to explore on foot or by bike. The terrain is basically flat. A person can stroll, power walk or bike the Town’s main perimeter, known as “the loop” by local Rock Hall'ers, or head out by bike for a more invigorating ride.
Your Guide to Doing the Rock Hall "Loop"
Start at the Rock Hall Visitor’s Center housed in the Rock Hall Village, the small shops located at the corner North Main and Rock Hall Avenue/Rt. 20 - at the blinking light.
Grab an ice cream at Get The Scoop and start your journey! Stroll down Main Street and explore our many shops and specialty stores for confectionary treats, quilting necessities, unique gifts, clothing, photography, and more.
Check out the Mainstay, our first class performing arts venue, to see if anything of interest is happening while you are in town. Browse through Stuff, Cinnamon by the Bay's gift store, find a bit of 'island delight' at Smilin' Jake's, step back in time and enter Durdings Store, pick up some delicious treats at Sweet Cheeks, or a cappuccino at Java Rock.
If you walk left at the Sharp St. (Rt. 674) corner you will find Fresh Start Food & Garden featuring local produce and meats, plants, baked goods, specialty groceries, gifts, and more. Next stop, Hickory Stick, a delightfully unique boutique with gifts, women's apparel, jewelry, bath, body and home accessories all with a nautical flair.
Returning to Main Street, turn left and check out the Quilting Store and the Rabbit Rescue & Education Center before turning right onto Chesapeake Avenue which takes you toward the harbor. Along the way you will pass - the Dockside Café on the harbor side and the Rock Hall Clam House (originally a clam and oyster shucking house - now refurbished and re-purposed) where you can browse through the Rock Hall Marine Consignment Shop. When you reach the Sharp St. corner, stop in at Waterman’s Crab House Restaurant & Dock Bar for some crabs and a drink! Interested in a relaxing cruise on the Bay? The home dock of Blue Crab Chesapeake Charters is right here as well!
Chesapeake Avenue and Sharp Street merge at Waterman’s so you won’t be getting lost. As a matter of fact, you can’t get lost in Rock Hall, although it’s excusable if you get a little confused!
Enjoying the harbor view and the many different style boats, continue straight along the harbor as the road bends and becomes Hawthorne Avenue. Rock Hall Landing Marina has slips on the harbor side and marina amenities for slip holders & transients across the road. Just past the Rock Hall Marine Railway & Supply Store and across the street from the Mariners Motel, turn left onto Bayside Avenue.
Continuing on Bayside Avenue, the town bulkhead will be on your left. Cruisers can tie up at the bulkhead for the day. Be sure to check out the statue of Captain Stanley Vansant by Kenneth Herlihy. The Eastern Shore Wreath Company and The Backfin (beer, wine, alcohol to go) are located at the bulkhead. A tad further on Bayside Avenue you’ll pass Bayside Landing Park, our town/county dock, public boat launch area and public swimming pool. On the harbor, Harbor Shack Waterfront Restaurant beckons you for a cool drink and good food. If you walk down Walnut Street (on your left) you’ll find North Point Marina overlooking the jetty and the Chesapeake Bay.
Continue on Bayside. Take a left onto Bay Road, possibly our shortest street (240 ft), go right at the end onto Beach Road where you can take a break from walking and enjoy our small, but treasured, beach. Dip your toes in the water or have a seat on one of the benches and take in an exquisite view of the Chesapeake Bay. Looking northwest you will see the industrial stacks of Baltimore (13 miles away) and maybe even the Francis Scott Key Bridge on the far shore. Down the Bay is the northern tip of Kent Island, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and Annapolis beyond in the distance.
The beach is the best location to enjoy the sunset, unless you take a sunset cruise and are fortunate enough to be out on the water. Many of our townies and visitors gather here for sunset viewing and small evening chats. Swimming is always at your own risk, and dogs are not allowed on the beach.
At the end of Beach Road head straight across onto Lawton Avenue, passing Gratitude Marina and many charming bay front homes. Stroll the short distance (.2 miles) to Swan Creek Marina (overlooking Swan Creek). Return back down Lawton Avenue.
Turn left onto Rock Hall Avenue (Rt. 20) to continue 1.3 miles to town. A short detour on Coleman Road brings you to the Blue Heron Oyster House & Inn for a quick drink and some good food. Back on Rt. 20, walk out on the marsh dock for a wildlife vista at Blue Heron Park, across from Muskrat Alley - a great breakfast stop in season! Check out the Haven Point Gallery, then Osprey Point Marina and Haven Harbour Marina along your way. The Waterman’s Museum is a very interesting self-guided tour (get the key at Haven Harbour's Marine Store) depicting the life and workings of a waterman in days gone by.
Further down you will pass Liberty Street on the right where our post office is situated – 2 blocks down. After Liberty Street you’ll see Bay Wolf Restaurant on your left.
Before turning right back onto Main Street, you'll see the sculpture of a waterman at the blinking light. Across Main Street along Rt. 20 you will find Bayside Foods our local grocery and spirits store, The Rock Restaurant, a self-serve laundromat, and the Peoples Bank. Across Rt. 20 from Bayside Foods is the Rock Hall Liquor & Deli, Shore Stop Convenience Store & Gas, Pasta Plus Restaurant, Dollar General, West Marine and just a bit further is Walgreen’s.
Should you care to venture further down Rt. 20, enjoy Sara's Garden for unique gifts and spectacular flower arrangements, Ford's Restaurant, ACE Hardware, and Larry's Outdoor Store.
The Distance for the Entire Loop is just under 3.2 miles - ENJOY!
Bike Trek “Eastern Neck Nature Ride”
Be sure pack your binoculars, plus a snack and water so you can spend some time chillin’ out at our Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge. It’s a very nice, flat ride, approximately 16 miles round trip.
Start South on Main St…Passing Chesapeake Avenue.
On your left you will pass St. John’s Catholic Church (at the corner of Catholic Avenue) followed by the former Rock Hall Elementary School/Municipal Building.
Continue straight passing Boundary Avenue on your left (Note: this is where Rock Hall Town proper ends).
Pass Green Lane on your right (Haven Harbour South is at the end of this lane) and Harborview Farms just beyond. If you'd like, make a right onto Allens Lane - a quiet little country road which dead ends at the Bay (distance is .63 miles).
Pedal along passing farmland, homes, and Huntingfield Manor (B&B). Further down, you will pass Bay Shore Campground on the right overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.
The road will bend slightly at Trumpington Manor - Circa 1648 and listed on the National Register. The grand manor house is difficult to see from the road, however, it is noteworthy as you cycle by.
Around the bend you will come to Eastern Neck Boat Rental just prior to the bridge that puts you onto Eastern Neck Island.
The many short hiking/nature trails on Eastern Neck Island are well marked as are the roadways leading to the Butterfly Garden and Trail, the Park Headquarters/Visitor's Center and more. Take your time and investigate the refuge enjoying the scenery and wildlife while checking out the vast array of migrating birds, especially in the spring and fall.
Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss seeing some of our bald eagles. Butterflies are a sight to behold in season.
FYI … there is a restroom on the way into the refuge at the Boardwalk Trail at Tubby Cove as well as at the Visitor’s Center.
Enjoy your stay, maybe hike a path to the Bay, have a snack, and cycle back to Rock Hall.