Dennis Point may be the St. Marys River’s only marina, but it has just about everything you’ll need.

by Jody Argo Schroath

You can count the marinas on the St. Marys River on one finger. Happily, one is enough. Dennis Point Marina and Campgrounds on Carthagena Creek is, and long has been, this beautiful and historic river’s only commercial facility for transient and long-term dockage. When Skipper and I docked there on a blustery April morning last year, it was for the second time in the last three or four years. The marina had recently been purchased and returned to its original name (from the more recent St. Marys River Yacht Haven). Not long after my visit, the ownership changed once more, this time to Joe and Cindy Salvo, who also own Point Lookout Marina on nearby Smith Creek. It’s an arrangement that everyone seems to like, from its longtime staff to its longtime residents. And already I could see that things were shaping up nicely. The docks, most of which are fixed wood, were in good shape, the buildings, restrooms and showers were in top shape, and the campground was just beginning to fill up with warm-weather residents. Skipper and I had arrived in mid-afternoon after a short trip across the Potomac from Coles Point, during which we had battled a three-foot chop and 20-knot winds that made it seem anything but short. Entering the St. Marys, however, we found a little respite, and by the time we’d turned up Carthagena Creek and rounded Josh Point, we had nearly forgotten what all the fuss was about. I backed into our assigned slip and checked into the office, then Skipper and I set out to explore.

Dennis Point occupies a lot of land. Along a small basin off the creek, there is a large area for hauling and working on boats. The marina may have the only 75-ton travel lift on the Potomac and so is becoming a popular place for catamarans needing work or a few months on the hard. Beyond the working yard, there are several acres of boat storage. Here you’ll see gleaming hulls and forgotten dreams. Beyond the boats are fields, woods and a road leading to a playground and a nice fenced-in dog park. Following the road around—with a stop at the dog park, of course—Skip and I came to the campground. There are acres and acres of campground, with sites dotting the woods and facing the creek. Here families have come to vacation for generations. Wandering through the campground, exchanging greetings with its few early-season residents, we found ourselves back at the boat slips. It was much too cold for a swim, but the marina has a nice pool—attached to its restaurant and tiki bar and overlooking the creek. Over the years, the restaurant has operated under a number of different names, including the Torpedo Factory. This summer it will reopen as Riverside Bistro under the direction of co-owner Cindy Salvo.

In addition to its other attractions, Dennis Point makes a great base for visiting nearby Historic St. Mary’s City and St. Mary’s College—the reason for my earlier stop there. But this time Annapolis beckoned, so Skipper and I pulled out early the next morning, stopped at the marina’s floating fuel dock, then set off to do battle with Point Lookout and a long slog up the Bay.

Dennis Point Marina
Drayden, Md.
Fuel: Ethanol-free Gas; diesel
Pump-out: Yes
Power: 30/50 amp
Docks: Wood, fixed

[June 2014 issue]