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Upper Yough July 4th Update

Posted: 06/30/2013
by Charlie Walbridge

The town of Friendsville will welcome paddlers to Maryland’s Upper Yough this forth of July Weekend. 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 is not without problems. Plan to 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 the town requests that paddlers not park along Water Street or Morris Avenue (the two riverside streets) unless you are patronizing local businesses. It’s not strictly illegal, but it’s the kind of neighborly consideration that country people expect.! Those invited by local residents on these streets to take out on their property should park completely off the street. American Whitewater maintains the put-in at Sang Run; our suggested donation, $2 per visit or $20 for the season, remains unchanged.

Last year American Whitewater helped paddlers raise almost $25,000 to help the Town of Friendsville build off-street parking for whitewater paddlers. The town needed six months to design the lot and obtain the necessary construction permits. During the past 9 months they attempted to use our gifts to attract $250,000 in matching funds. This effort did not bear fruit, so in early June town council voted to proceed with the money they have. Nothing moves quickly, though, when government is involved.. First, they had to advertise the project for two weeks in the local paper. This coming week Councilman Jess Whittemore meets with contractors to walk the property and bids must be submitted a week later. Once the contractor is chosen, the work will be scheduled.  They’re hoping, but not promising, to have the work done by Friendsville Days on July 27th. The field will be open for parking that day regardless.

Charles Walbridge
Bruceton Mills, WV