In 2002 Husband and wife team, Jay and Susan Meredith, decided to start Blackwater Paddle and Pedal Adventures. The tourism industry in Dorchester County was just beginning. The Hyatt Chesapeake Bay Resort had just been built and Blackwater Refuge was becoming a frequent destination for city folks searching for a weekend nature fix. Renting boats and welcoming tourist was not a new concept to Jay. Years earlier, his grandfather Theo Creighton had operated a small lunch room and rented boats in a quaint fishermen's village called Hoopers Island about 20 miles south. Following in his grandfathers footsteps he and Susan used entrepreneurial vision and strong work ethic to help Blackwater Paddle become the success it is today. 

It all began on a summer evening in 1978. Jay took his then girlfriend Susan out on date, a motorcycle ride from Cambridge down to a small rural farming community called Bucktown. This was the ancestral homeplace of his family who lead the community in farming and commerce for most of the 19th and early 20th century. They owned farmland, a schooner and a General Store, but by 1978 most of the family had moved to town and the old, once bustling store stood empty and desolate. It was on this country ride that Jay shared his simple vision- “I want to reopen my great grandfathers store, and rent kayaks and bikes on the Blackwater River.” They married in 1981, and with equal motivation they decided to move back to Bucktown and re-establish roots. They had 3 children, Wesley in 1983, Matt in 87’ and Kacey in 1991 and by 1997 had bought back the old General Store and Homeplace. By this time, the Store, built at the crossroads in Bucktown about 1824 had been closed for decades and was in rough shape. 

Founders / Guides / Go Getters / Adventurers / Generally Sweet People

Susan & Jay

Fortunately, it also happened to be a historical site, where abolitionist Harriet Tubman was hit in the head with a counter weight as a young girl which altered the course of her life. This helped garner preservation grants from the Maryland Historic Trust and others which were helpful in funding renovations. Once complete, the store operated as a museum and headquarters for Blackwater Paddle and Pedal until 2014. Together the couple have restored not only the General Store but also the original circa 1790 Meredith Home-place which was the culmination of 30 years of hard work and perseverance. Blackwater Adventures eventually outgrew the little store and moved to a larger waterfront location on the Blackwater River that originally served as a tomato cannery then a boat building facility. We expanded to another location at the Hyatt Chesapeake Bay Resort in 2005; where we not only offer paddle sports rentals but also powerboats and jet skis!

Today, the whole Meredith family is involved in the business. Jay maintains his career of 40 plus years with the State Highway administration as District Engineer (yes, he did all this, maintained a marriage, and 3 kids with a full time job!). Susan continues to work day to day wearing various hats for Blackwater Adventures.

Captain / Intellectual Waterfowler / Eternal Optimist


Wes is a licensed coast guard captain and is involved in various aspects of the business while also running his own successful property management company. He is married to Brooke and they have 4 children, Mikah, Mckenna, Pritchett, and Noble. 

Mr. Fix It / Craftsman / Guide / Innovative Outdoorsman


Matt is our Operations Manager here at Blackwater Adventures. He leads our crew of seasonal staff while ensuring our equipment stays in tip top shape! He is married to Meghan and they have 3 children, Merritt, Annabelle, and Cora.

Lover of all Critters / Guide / Beholder of an Infectious Laugh / Pocahontas 


You can find Kacey holding down our Blackwater Location, answering the phone, or guiding a tour! Did we mention she's also a part time Nanny? She is married to Karl, who is also a great tour guide!