The Sunnybank Ferry, A Preserved Way Of Life That Should Never Stop


Around here there is an area that can be driven to, but there is a short ferry that can save you about 30 minutes. So in a way, its an “convenient inconvenience “as it has been described to many. As in you could avoid it, which I have for years. I have never actually used it.  But this week I had a chance to try it. And guess what? I LOVED IT! Like walking down Main Street here. You get to feel the trip and the surrounding joy mother nature has gifted us with.

The red line shows what I am talking about. and where the speed trap always is. On Surprise Hill. Ya. And Lilian hardware store where I seem to go daily

Headed down a small road on the Great Wicomico River

It can handle 2 cars, and is State Owned so its free

And away you go, she runs on a cable

Full speed ahead.

A perfect summer morning

Mr B loved the adventure

Okay, he just was skeptical about it all.

But got over it.

Land Ho!

I feel the same way about the Raccoon Island Ferry on Lake Hopatcong, and The Harsons Island Ferry and others I have enjoyed the journey on. Commuting into San Fransisco on the Sausalito Ferry, NYC on the Staton Island Ferry. Hopefully you are luck enough to live in an area where you get the chance to travel this way.

18 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Although the Harsons Island ferry is much larger, the body of water you cross looks a lot like the North Channel.

  2. Bob
    Bob says:

    White’s Ferry connected Poolesville, MD to Leesburg, VA across the Potomac River for over 100 years until a “dispute” forced it to close. Hopefully it can be worked out and reopened. Way better than taking the beltway.

  3. tparsons56
    tparsons56 says:

    On Lake Charlevoix we have the Ironton Ferry which also runs in cables. It began operation in 1876 as hand operated but fortunately the new version is diesel electric and takes four cars, bicycles and walkers. This area gets lots of boat traffic in the summer so we warn people to give the ferry a wide berth or you will get the dreaded “horn blast” warning.

  4. Brock
    Brock says:

    We will be taking the Drummond Island Ferry this fall, in Michigan’s UP east of Les Cheneaux. Pulled our 30 ft camper onto it several years ago. That was a bit nerve wracking for me but not for them.

  5. Kelly Wittenauer
    Kelly Wittenauer says:

    There are 2 ferries here in the greater Cincinnati area. We went on the August Ferry many years ago. Have never been on the Anderson Ferry – learned of it thru the beautiful photos they post on FB. May have to give it a go, perhaps an adventure to take the grandsons on. We’re planning to do the Put-In-Bay Road Races Reunion next year, which will mean taking our race rig on a ferry!

  6. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    “Owned by the State so it’s free…” Wow! Here in Washington, we have (I believe) the largest ferry system in the country, one I used almost weekly as I was raised on Bainbridge Island, across Puget Sound (now the Salish Sea) from Seattle. Our system is anything but free and costs are rising all the time! That said, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Step on the boat and immediately I’m on Island time…

  7. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    The ferry system the Pacific Northwest from the islands to Seattle , is wonderful. Those are floating palaces with restaurants bars, comfortable chairs, and Wi-Fi. If you don’t want to partake in any of that, you can sit up on deck and enjoy the breeze.

  8. Art
    Art says:

    Greg and Matt………………..It’s HarsEn’s Island Ferry. Many moons ago Jacob Harsen obtained the Island from the native Indians, report ably for some beads and a bottle of hooch .

    Champions Auto has 4 ferries that hold about 12 cars each they run 24/7 365 and are run with twin 671 diesels.

  9. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    What took you so long???

    I grew up in southern Wisconsin bluff country, a beautiful little town called Baraboo. Grew up often taking the Merrimac Ferry, a short trip across Lake Wisconsin. It was and is tradition to get an ice cream cone on the Merrimac side and it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a Sconnie Supper club on the Lodi side. A good friend bragged that he lost his virginity on that ferry. But I’m not sure he should’ve bragged since it was, ahem, a very quick ride.

  10. Bob in Dana Point
    Bob in Dana Point says:

    Less we forget to mention , The Balboa Island Ferry
    in Newport Beach Ca, Established in 1919 & in the same family’s operation since then, plans are afoot to convert the fleet into electric in the near future. In the 1950’s the Beets built 3 ferries, the Admiral, the Commodore & the Captain. ⚓️🇺🇸

  11. Bob Kays
    Bob Kays says:

    The Raccoon Island ferry on Lake Hopatcong. Started in 1932 as a wood ferry, built on site. Runs on a 50 hp Merc on a turntable, plus a cable. About a 440ft trip. Can carry 8 tons. Matt you need to make the trip next time!

  12. Denis D
    Denis D says:

    The absolute best deal in the country is the Staten Island Ferry. It goes through the center of New York Harbor right past The Statue of Liberty and is totally free!!


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