Potomac, S.Fk. of the S.Br. - 4. Fort Seybert (CR 3 bridge) to Milam (CR 7/3 bridge)

Potomac, S.Fk. of the S.Br., West Virginia, US


4. Fort Seybert (CR 3 bridge) to Milam (CR 7/3 bridge) (Moorefield Canyon)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 12.1 Miles
Avg. Gradient 20 fpm
Max Gradient 40 fpm


Photo by Tim Lewis taken 04/15/04

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01607500 1.90 - 3.90 ft II-IV 00h21m 1.68 ft (too low)

River Description

Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-02-27 18:52:53


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
September 24 2018 (80 days ago)
baerly (154552)
Paddled this section of the Potomac 9/22/2018 at about 2.2'. This is a hidden gem. Flat water to
start out and the finish but the middle section is quite busy and merits a bit of respect and
attention. We had to pick our lines carefully through some of the boulder gardens to avoid
strainers and/or downed trees. Quite fun and It is definitely worthy of the II-IV rating.
May 4 2014 (1683 days ago)
mccloud (155404)
Run on 4 May 2014 @ 200cfs (Brandywine). A couple more inches would have been good, but still a
nice run. There is a log entirely across at chest height in the first significant rapid, above the
Corner Rd bridge. Near the end of the gorge a log blocks the frequently-run center slot. There is a
lot of dead wood washed up on boulders without entirely blocking channels. New timber cutting has
taken place on both left and right banks, with lot of slash left laying, in the vicinity of the
Corner Rd bridge, so wood in the river is likely to be a problem for some time. Tom McCloud
May 25 2011 (2758 days ago)
Donald KellerDetails
Ran this section on 5/21/11 at around 475 cfs. Really nice level and somewhat surprisingly plenty
of water even in the larger rapids. Put in off a county road (turn left if coming from Brandywine
direction) about 2 miles downstream from bridge on river right (parked off sideof road in grassy
area just upstream from island in river, house on hill across road). First couple miles were easy
class 1-2 rock gardens and small ledges. River then calmed down some for a few miles but scenery
was always good to excellent and good current. Saw some bald eagles and maybe an otter or two.
Scenery and rapids then began to pick up as we entered the canyon section with good drop-pool
rapids with lots of boulders and some nice ledges all mixed in. We scouted TS#1 mostly for wood but
scouting also let us pick the best slot which was left of river center and then cut left around a
large boulder just below. Class 3 for sure but no where near class 4, at least at this level. TS #2
was next with the entry around a right bend in the river. Had to quickly pick a slot between
boulders and then down thru lots of action around a left hand turn. Great fun and another solid
class 3. Lots of good class 2 rapids in the canyon with maybe 1 or 2 others approaching low class
3. A really great run. Took a little over 2 hours with little play but not pushing hard at all. We
took out at low water bridge which was on the right side of the road (river left) about a mile past
the bridge at Milam. Much better takeout. Just be courteous as the parking area is private land and
ask somewhere if OK if you see anyone. Might be good idea not to try and run the low water bridge
if enough water going over it.
April 15 2009 (3528 days ago)
x (1)
I have run this at several levels,and think the class 4 rating is and should be a class 3 rating
April 28 2008 (3880 days ago)
Michael W. WellmanDetails
On April 22, 2008, in TS #2, the straight shot on the left had a log extending into the chute an
unverifiable distance that was somewhat beneath the water but would be a lethal hazard if someone
were swimming or got endered at the wrong time. The right to left move was good to go. In the rapid
just downstream where the river splits in two around an island, the Class II right channel was
blocked by 2 strainers not visible from where you have to decide which channel to take; however,
the Class III left channel was clear. This was about 2.7, 450 cfs, on the Brandywine gauge. There
are also a half-dozen thin nylon strands extending across the river in various locations, seemingly
marking boundaries for logging operations. All are easy to work around and in innocuous locations,
but might flip someone who wasn't paying attention.
July 21 2006 (4527 days ago)
Stephen J. EttingerDetails
The most appropriate gauge to use is the South Fork at Brandywine (rather than at Moorefield as
shown), because it is 10 miles upstream of the reach rather than 25 miles downstream, so it shows
the water that you will be getting in a few hours, rather than what has already passed about 12
hours ago. A reasonable minimum for Brandywine is 1.9 (175 cfs).
July 21 2006 (4527 days ago)
Stephen J. EttingerDetails
Four of us ran this in July 2006, at 600 cfs (1 foot on the Milam bridge). This was a delightful
level -- not pushy but with plenty of water and alternative routes through the main rapids. There
are three particularly interesting rapids, all in the final 2 miles. Tight Squeeze #1, which is
class III and requires scouting to find the cleanest route through the boulders, and then precise
maneuvering. TS #2, a class III+ a few rapids later, where we all scouted from the right bank. At
this level, there were 3 reasonable routes -- (a) the direct shot on the left, but cross currents
make the entry tricky; (b) a narrow right to left chute, and (c) taking the first drop on the far
right and then ferrying across to the left for the second drop -- which I chose as being the safest
alternative. Finally, the rapid right below TS #2 is class II on the right, but a much more fun
class III on the left, where you run between the boulders -- sort of a TS #3.

This is a great trip for wildlife. We saw two bald eagles and four deer along the river, a flock of
turkeys and a red fox on the shuttle.
January 28 2006 (4701 days ago)
Robert FarmerDetails
This is a nice Class 3, I would say. When I did it, the water seemed crazy-high up top (i.e.
flooding), while being scrapy at some gravel bars downstream. Otherwise pleasant and not esp.
dangerous. There are some bad smells from local chicken farms, so don't drink the water.
May 31 2004 (5308 days ago)
Turner SharpDetails
John : Six of us ran this section 5/29/04. Noon gauge readings were Brandywine 2.26' with 286 cfs
and slowly falling. Moorefield 3.37 and slow falling. Water was low but not at all scrapey. I would
estimate that minimum paddling levelon these gauges would be about 3-4 inches lower. Tite-Squeeze
#2 near the end of the run is much harder then any of the other rapids. We ran far left Chute after
scouting with no problems except some sloppy paddling. Probably a class III+ OR IV-. TS

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