Upper Yough Preseason Update
May 4th (CheatFest Weekend) is the first scheduled Saturday release on Maryland’s Upper Yough! If water levels cooperate this will be a busy day on the river. For Friendsville, MD (population 491) the influx of hundreds of whitewater paddlers can cause problems. Minimize your impact on the town by driving safely, being discrete while changing clothes, and by being careful when carrying boats along busy Maple Avenue. Remember that there is no parking along Water Street or Morris Avenue (the two riverside streets) unless you are patronizing local businesses. There are no signs, but this is more about being a good neighbor than following the letter of the law.Those invited by local residents to take out on their property should park completely off the street. American Whitewater takes care of the put-in at Sang Run; our suggested donation, $2 per visit or $20 for the season, remains unchanged.
Last year whitewater paddlers raised over $20,000 to help the Town of Friendsville build off-street parking for whitewater paddlers. Since then the town has designed the lot and received all necessary construction permits. They have also been trying to use our donations to attract additional funding. By using our gifts as a match the town might attract $5-$15 for each dollar we donated. The money would be used for additional amenities as well as work on the riverside trail, After winning several small awards last fall the Town applied for some larger grants which could bring in $100,000 - $250,000. According to Councilman Jess Whittemore, one grant application has been turned down but a second is still in the works. The town is grateful for the opportunity to leverage our contributions and is ready to proceed with construction once a decision is made. In the meantime, parking along Maple Avenue can continue as always. AW asks all boaters to be alert and cautious when walking or carrying boats along the road.