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Fredericktown and the Legend of Kitty Knight

This boat launch is located in the middle of a recreational boating center in the town of Fredericktown. Across from Fredericktown lies Georgetown. During the War of 1812, both ports were raided and burned by British troops. When they came to burn two houses in particular, two brick buildings that overlooked the Sassafras, they were stopped by a local woman named Kitty Knight. Local lore says that Kitty Knight refused to leave her house, begged the British admiral to spare the two buildings, and repeatedly used her broom to put out the flames they started. Eventually the admiral ordered his men back to the river, and the homes were spared.

Until recently, the Kitty Knight House operated as an inn, restaurant, and bar. The house can still be viewed from the Fredericktown side of the river where paddlers might opt to launch vessels into the Sassafras River. Paddlers should be aware in this area, as the water can get busy with boat traffic on weekends. Woodland Creek, located on the Kent County side of the river, lies two miles downstream and offers a slightly quieter paddle.

Image Credit: Chris Cerino

Things to Know

Several creeks are located downstream from the Fredericktown landing. Two miles from the ramp is Woodland Creek. Turner's Creek Landing is about 6.5 miles downriver as well. 

Navigational Hazards

Paddlers are urged to use caution at this site, as it is located between several large marinas and there can be heavy boat traffic. This site is not recommended for beginners except on the boating off season. 

Water Safety

Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service, Chesapeake Conservancy and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.

Marine Forecast

We STRONGLY suggested that you review the marine forecast ahead of heading out for a paddling trip. To review the forecast for this paddle trip, visit:

Emergency Information

Launch site address: End of Sassafras St, Georgetown, MD 21930

Nearest hospitals: UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown (100 Brown St, Chestertown, MD 21620; 410-778-3300) and Chester River Hospital Center (6602 Church Hill Rd #300, Chestertown, MD 21620; 410-778-3300).

Parking & Shuttles

Parking at this site is limited so please plan accordingly. There is some space for less than 10 cars to park on the side of the road and walk to the ramp. There is no paved area. 


There is no public restroom at this site. 


  • ALWAYS wear a properly secured personal flotation device (PFD) when participating in paddlesport activities. Make sure that your PFD has a readily accessible safety whistle.
  • Bring a paddle float and water pump for self rescue.
  • A spray skirt is recommended for cold/foul weather.
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing that shields you from the sun (sunglasses, sunblock, hat, and a long-sleeved shirt that can get wet) and is safe to swim in. Water shoes with closed toes will protect you from abrasive hazards at launch areas that can cut your feet.
  • Bring water in bottles than can be secured to your craft. Bring more water than you think you’ll need and drink regularly throughout your journey.


Camping & Amenities

This site has a concrete ramp for launching small boats in addition to kayaks and canoes. 

There are no camping amenities at this site.

Trail History

There are numerous sites along the Sassafras River and its smaller tributaries that lay claim to events of the War of 1812. In May 1813 and July 1814, dwellings all along the river and other waterways were subjected to raids by British forces. In some instances, locals fought back and defended their homes; in others, towns and buildings were burned by the invading troops. Most notably, British Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn led troops up the Sassafras to raid the ports of Georgetown and Fredericktown on May 6, 1813.