A few of us ran Marsh Creek July 24, 2018 from Marsh Creek Road to Mason Dixon Road. The level was 7' on the stick gauge on Marsh Creek at the Mason Dixon road bridge, almost 4,000 cfs on the Monocacy gauge. At this level the run is quite exciting. The section just above Natural Dam is quite continuous class III-IV, chucked full of large retentive holes, boiling eddy lines, and fun wave trains. We ran Natural dam far right next to the bank. At this level several spots open up on the dam and appear runnable. If you run it elsewhere make sure to hit it with speed, get a good boof stroke, and paddle hard at the bottom as the dam forms a very sticky hydraulic. One of our crew ran the "normal" line on the right and nearly got caught in the hydraulic. If getting on at this level a solid roll is recommended as swims can be fairly difficult and quite hazardous with all of the strainers.
Use Bridgeport gauge (MD) just downstream - 400 cfs is your zero. [Jug Bridge, 35 miles further downstream and with over 10x the streamflow - gives late and imperfect info.] After Rte 15 comes Harper Hill, a 3-part Cl. III large-boulder rapid - followed by a long pool and then a 2-part Cl. II+ rapid. Next, Natural Dam - ca 3-ft high (on the right) can be run (on the right).
- Alf Cooley
Just a note--when we ran this today, the campground owner no longer allowed boaters to park at the campground because of liability. Had to choose an alternate put-in at a gravel lot on the right hand side a bit further down Marsh Creek road, but I believe this may have eliminated the first low-head dam and some flatwater. Nice run.
This gage is on the Monocacy, and thus is only a rough guide to the runnability of Marsh. Use it with discretion!
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Left Dam on Marsh Creek
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