Not far from Cambridge Harbor lies more than 32,000 acres of ecological wonder. With one-third of Maryland’s tidal wetlands, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is home to an abundance of flora and fauna that live within its three major habitats: forest, marsh, and shallow water.
The Visitor Center is a landmark that is hard to overlook as you drive across the Frederick C. Malkus, Jr. Bridge (Choptank River Bridge). Its iconic 100-foot sail marks your arrival at Cambridge Harbor and the heart of the Chesapeake, Dorchester County. This architectural wonder opened in 1994 and is home to the Dorchester County Tourism Department. Every day from 8:30am to 4:30pm, Visitor Center staff enthusiastically help travelers from far and wide make the best out of their time in Dorchester.
The center also includes a two-level exhibit about life in the Dorchester area. As you walk through the exhibit learning about life, agriculture, seafood, the Underground Railroad, and natural resources, you can catch glimpses of the Choptank River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay and a central contributor to the heritage and lifestyle of the area.
Along the side of the Visitor Center, you will find a depiction of just that Chesapeake Bay heritage. Created by the artist, Michael Rosato, the 33 feet by 11 feet mural, Ode to Watermen, depicts watermen of the Eastern Shore harvesting oysters. Generation after generation, the watermen of Dorchester County have worked the bay to provide sustenance and life. This blue-collar maritime heritage is at the core of the history and culinary roots of the area. Next time you drive across the Choptank, be sure to stop by for a visit.
The Emerson E. Harrington Bridge, now the old fishing pier next to our site, marked an economic boom for Cambridge in the 1930s, becoming the first constant direct link northward to Annapolis and Baltimore.
Near and around Cambridge Harbor there are various destinations focused on preserving and honoring the legacy of Harriet Tubman. Born into the chains of slavery in Dorchester County in 1822, made her escape north in 1849. Over a dozen times Tubman risked her life to lead enslaved friends and family to freedom as a conductor of the Underground Railroad.