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 considerate of the drivers by walking off to the side, and try not to congregate in the middle of the road like a gaggle of geese while forgetting you are actually in the way of vehicles going by. 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.
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 & 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”
Our Rock Hall Visitor’s Welcome Center is housed on the corner at the Rock Hall Village of small shops located at North Main and Rock Hall Avenue- the corner of the blinking light.
On Main Street you can explore our many shops and specialty stores such as our confectionary, quilting shop and picnic basket store, among others. Check out the Rabbit Rescue & Education Center …then get walking!
Be sure to wander through Oyster Court (on Saturday’s 2-6, in April 2015 to visit our new farmer’s & artisan market ). Check out the Mainstay, our first class performing arts venue, to see if anything of interest is happening while you are here. You can browse Hotel Tallulah’s Gift Store, get an ice cream cone at Durdings, an old fashion ice cream parlor, or a cappuccino at Java Rock, once the home that housed our ambulance.
If you walk left at the Sharp St. (RT 674) corner you will find a few delightful gift and clothing shops such as the Hickory Stick to explore.
Returning to Main Street, continue to Chesapeake Avenue passing the Mermaid of the Rock Gift Shop, then turn right onto Chesapeake, heading toward the harbor, passing along the way- the Dockside Café on the harbor side, the Skipjack “for daily charter” Lady Helen and The Rock Hall Clam House (originally a clam and oyster shucking house- now refurbished and repurposed) where you can browse through the Rock Hall Marine Consignment Shop (new April, 2015). You will reach the Sharp St Corner and Waterman’s Crab House Restaurant & the home dock of Blue Crab Chesapeake Charters.
Chesapeake and Sharp merge, at Waterman’s Crab house Restaurant 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 with its many different style boats continue on Chesapeake Ave which becomes Hawthorne Avenue. Turn left onto Bayside Ave at Hawthorne Ave. where the Rock Hall Marine Railway and Supply Store are situated across from the Mariners Motel.
Continuing on Bayside Avenue you will pass River Rock Outfitters who sell bait & fishing gear located at the town harbor bulkhead where boats can tie up for the day. Check out the sculpture at the foot of the bulkhead. A tad further on Bayside Avenue you’ll pass Bayside Landing Park, our town/county dock and boat launch area, then Harbor Shack Waterfront Restaurant. If you walk down Walnut Street you’ll see North Point Marina overlooking the jetty and the Chesapeake Bay.
Continuing on Bayside, turning onto Bay Rd, possibly our shortest street (240 ft), go right at the end onto Beach Road where you can take a break from walking and let your eyes feast upon our small but treasured beach situated on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay. Looking out (on a clear day) you will notice the industrial stacks of Baltimore (13 miles away) on the far shore to your right while to the left you will see the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Annapolis.
The beach is the best location from which 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.
Continuing on Beach Road you can go straight passing Gratitude Marina, Moonlight Bay B&B, while strolling the short distance up (.2 mi) to Swan Creek Marina (overlooking Swan Creek) and returning on Lawton Avenue enjoying the charming bay front homes as you go. Turn onto Rock Hall Avenue (Rat 20) and stroll 1.3 miles on up into town, walking out on the marsh dock for a wildlife vista at Blue Heron Park, passing a B&B with the Swan Point Inn Restaurant situated just behind. Check out the Haven Point Gallery, B&BS, then Osprey Point and Haven Harbor Marinas along your way. The Waterman’s Museum located on “the Haven” is a very interesting self guided (get the key at the Ditty Bag Shop at Haven Harbor) tour depicting the life and workings of a waterman in days gone by.
You will pass Liberty St. where our post office is situated – 2 blocks to the right.
After Liberty you’ll see an antique store along with Bay Wolf Restaurant.
Before turning right onto Main Street, peek into the restored old ark boat on the far corner just behind the sculpture of the waterman at the blinking light. Across Main St. along Rt 20 you will find our local grocery and spirits store, Bayside Foods and further up the road is New Yarmouth Restaurant & The Peoples Bank. Across Route 20 from Bayside Foods you will see Rock Hall Liquors, Shore Stop Convenience and Gas, Pasta Plus Restaurant, Dollar General, West Marine & just around the bend is Walgreen’s.
The Distance for the Entire Loop is just under 3.2 miles ENJOY!
Bike Trek “Eastern Neck Nature Ride”
Be sure pack your binoculars and pack 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 your will pass St John’s Catholic Church (on Catholic Avenue) followed by the Rock Hall Municipal Building and the Home of the Rock Hall Museum.
Continue straight passing Boundary Avenue on your left (Where Rock Hall Town Proper Ends)
Pass Green Lane on your Right and Harborview Farms just beyond. If you are so inclined you can divert by making a right onto Allens Lane (quiet little country road) ending at the Bay – distance is .63 miles.
Pedal along passing some country homes , Huntingfield Manor on the right (You will pass the local Campground situated right on the Chesapeake Bay)
Soon you will see Trumpington Manor Circa 1648 – 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 up to Eastern Neck Boat Rental, on the approach to the Bridge that puts you onto the Island.
You can find your way to the visitor’s center on Headquarters Road 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 in to 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.
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