ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — The two-hour drive and gridlock traffic on the way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore can be daunting for those looking to enjoy a waterfront boardwalk during the summer months. Luckily, there’s a boardwalk offering spectacular views just fifteen minutes from APG: the Havre de Grace Promenade.
Whether it’s a warm, summer evening, a brisk fall morning or a bitter cold winter day – there’s nary a time the Havre de Grace Promenade isn’t dotted with visitors of all ages.
The Promenade is just under a mile long, stretching from Havre de Grace landmark the Concord Point Lighthouse south to the ever popular Tydings Park.
Visitors can revel in unparalleled views of the Susquehanna Flats and the Chesapeake Bay from the wooden slats of the Promenade. The Havre de Grace Tourism Office encourages visitors to “enjoy waterfowl watching from dusk ‘til dawn.”
As the Promenade’s path winds through the city’s wetlands and along the shore, keep an eye out for eagles, ospreys, herons, geese, and of course: ducks. Havre de Grace, which claims to be the duck decoy capital of the world, continues to attract birds of various feathers year-round.
Offering such spectacular views of the nation’s largest estuary, the Promenade has even attracted a U.S. President. In 1995, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore marked the 25th anniversary of Earth Day in the shadow of the Concord Point Lighthouse.
“The beauty you see is God-given, but it was defended and rescued by human beings,” Clinton said of the views of the Chesapeake Bay from Havre de Grace.
The Promenade dates to efforts by the Havre de Grace government to revitalize the city’s waterfront in the late 80s and early 90s. The Havre de Grace Decoy Museum spearheaded that revitalization when it opened its doors in 1986. In the years that followed, the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum opened and the construction of the Promenade offered unobstructed views along the town’s waterfront.
According to an article by the Baltimore Sun, the city funds upkeep for the Promenade from building permits. The Promenade Fund receives $100 from every building permit in Havre de Grace. Most recently, $100,000 of those funds were used to replace a large section of boards along the Promenade in the spring of 2016.
For those who just can’t make it out there in person, a small virtual slice of heaven might suffice. The same beautiful views along the Promenade can be seen 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a live stream hosted by the Decoy Museum and Explore Havre de Grace. Visit www.explorehavredegrace.com/live to enjoy the view from your computer.
Visiting The Promenade
For those looking to make a day trip to Havre de Grace and the Promenade, start at the boardwalk’s northern end at the Concord Point Lighthouse. Weather permitting, the lighthouse and keeper’s house are open Saturday & Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
Stroll southward along the Promenade, enjoying the view and photo ops. On Thursday evenings throughout the summer, catch the sailboat races coordinated by the Havre de Grace Yacht Club and the Tidewater Marina.
At the southern end of the Promenade, stop for a bite to eat at the Promenade Grille. Enjoy cool treats like ice cream and milkshakes, try the Maryland favorite crab cake, or go with the tried and true BBQ, burgers or fries. Order at the window and enjoy your snack at a picnic table, from a bench on the Promenade, or on a blanket in the grass at Tydings Park.
Fishing is permitted from the Promenade piers near the lighthouse and near the Promenade Grille.
Visitors should leave their bicycles and skateboards at home, as they are banned from the Promenade. Perhaps the views are best enjoyed on foot. Dogs should be left at home, too; the only four-legged friends allowed on the Promenade are service animals.
For more information about the Havre de Grace Promenade, call Explore Havre de Grace at 410-939-2100.