Port Deposit

Susquehanna River

This ramp is in Marina Park, Port Deposit, which is south of the center of town. You need a Port Deposit town permit to launch boats on trailers from here, although there is a provision for a day use fee of $5 payable by envelope in the honor box. There are actually two ramps here, but the one to the south (shown below) is seldom used and collects debris. These ramps provide access to the main part of the Susquehanna River, which is almost a mile wide here.

Port Deposit is the farthest community north that is accessible by large ship from the Chesapeake Bay, and it owes its existence, and its name, to this fact. The river has a deep channel here from the days when the town was a major port. Less than two miles farther upstream, the river gets shallow and rocky and non-tidal. These days, the only industrial vessels that use the tidal part of the river are the barges pushed by tugboats that load gravel at the quarry on the Harford County side, just south of the I-95 (Tydings) bridge.

Port Deposit is just across the river from the Susquehanna State Park ramp. Just a bit upstream, and closer to the other side, easily visible, are Spencer, Wood, and Robert Islands, part of the state park.

The town of Port Deposit now has another put-in point a little over a mile further north. There is a small park there, recently developed by Exelon (the operators of Conowingo Dam) that is accessible from a road that goes south from MD 222 just beyond the railroad underpass on the north end of town. However, the ramp there is just a dirt road that disappears into the river and is quite muddy.

There usually isn't much current in the tidal part of the river except when the flood gates of the Conowingo Dam, five miles upriver, have to be opened after heavy rains in Pennsylvania. Port Deposit itself is subject to flooding at those times, depending on how many flood gates are open. The level of the river just below the dam is available from the National Weather Service.