By Lisa Arrasmith
Chair, Public Water Access Committee
Solley Cove Park, a sleepy backwater in the Anne Arundel County park system, will get a lot livelier in early summer when the new Solley Cove public boat ramp opens. The new public boat ramp is on Curtis Creek across from the Coast Guard Yard. This location gives boaters a choice of heading to sheltered Marley Creek and Furnace Creek or out through Curtis Bay to bigger waters of the Chesapeake Bay.
Solley Cove Park has been a long-term favorite of the kayakers, anglers and crabbers who use an old dirt ramp to launch onto Marley Creek. Crabbers launch small jon boats and dinghies to set crab pots, and shore anglers fish from a little sandy beach. Kayakers paddle out to Curtis Bay, up Marley Creek almost to Route 2 and up Back Creek through the old railroad bridge pilings. Full moons attract dozens of kayakers who launch for a night paddle under the moon for dinner at the Rams Head on Furnace Creek. A paintball company has paintballers running through the woods on weekends. American Legion Post 277, an inholding in the park, watches over the park and welcomes nonmembers for food and drinks.
Although this sounds like a lot of activity, the park is quiet most days. The county bought the 75-acre Solley Cove Park in 1998. The new public boat ramp is the first investment in the park. The ramp has an ingenious design, with a trailered boat ramp on one side and a kayak beach launch on the other. A floating dock will make launching trailered boats easy. The parking lot has both long spaces for trucks and trailers and regular car parking spots. A dual portable toilet enclosure awaits its portable toilets.
The new Solley Cove public boat ramp is a great step in alleviating the county’s desperate lack of public boat ramps. In 2015, Anne Arundel County had 9,500 trailered boats and four public boat ramps, while Queen Anne’s County had 12 public boat ramps for 1,750 trailered boats. The pandemic boating boom has driven demand for public boat ramps even higher. The new public boat ramp will make Solley Cove Park a much busier place when it opens in early summer.
Where To Find Solley Cove Park
7360 Carbide Road, Curtis Bay