Anacostia, Northwest Branch, Maryland, US
US Rte 29 to Riggs Road
||I-III(V+) (varies with level)
From just below the dam, this trip starts off with a long Class-III rapid that includes a pair of
tricky drops. Virtually all paddlers then eddy out on river left, about 50 yards below the US 29
bridge, and portage the Class 5.1 "Great Falls of the Anacostia" (a.k.a. the
"Colesville Cruncher"), of which Theodore Roosevelt wrote: "Excepting Great Falls,
it is the most beautiful place around here." A parking area for the M-NCPPC's Burnt Mills Park
has replaced the former contaminated-water dump there. Climb carefully on the rocks to see the
water cascade through the huge boulders, in four distinct drops totaling some 20 feet. You also
need to do some climbing on the 100-yard portage trail high on river left.
Depending on water and skill level, you can put back in above or below the final 4-foot (class IV-)
chute; the drop itself is not as hard as the ferry to get lined up for it. There is a long Class
II+ rapid just below the falls, and the water then calms down until the class III Beltway Rapids.
After that, there are occasional class II ledges all the way to Riggs Road, and the take out at
Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.
Ed Evangelidi testifies:
The local park police will ticket you if you run this creek as the MNCPPC has rules against boating
any stream under their jurisdiction. Note a usually unrunnable rapid just below the putin that is
carried on the left and, if you continue below Riggs Road, a very dangerous dam below Agar Rd. that
should be carried. There is a bike trail that follows the creek and allows for easy scouting. Note
that the creek is also runnable well upstream (Class I) and downstream (tidal).
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-03-19 12:40:27