Mill Run - Pigs Ear Road to Yough River Lake


Mill Run, Maryland, US

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Pigs Ear Road to Yough River Lake

Usual Difficulty III-IV+ (for normal flows)
Length 8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 105 fpm
Max Gradient 200 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
CHERRY CREEK AT STATE PARK ROAD NEAR MCHENRY, MD
usgs-03075905 200 - 1000 cfs III-IV+ 01h25m 54 cfs (too low)


River Description

The run starts off with two miles at 200 fpm. The first three miles are a fairly Isolated gorge, then the run becomes roadside after it passes under Mill Run Road.

The put-in is Pigs Ear Road, about 5 miles up US 40 from Keysers Ridge, a few hundred yards south of the Pennsylvania state line (aka the Mason Dixon line). Best take out is probably on Mill Run Road, where Mill Run dumps into Yough Lake.

Daniel Anderson 2004-06-01 12:29:48
I ran this twice with Mike Kemp and I will have to agree that this is not a class III creek! The brief parts of this creek that you can see from the road may look like class III stuff, but when you get back into the woods, it is defenitely continuous class IV all the way. The 2 pictures I posted for this run were taken at the ONLY large eddie on the entire run. Eddies are tiny and scarce, which make scouting a pain.

mike kemp 2004-03-06 23:20:08
I ran this creek for the first time on 3/6/04, we actually ran it twice. There were 2 portages around strainers we made, the first was a single portage around 3 strainers and the second was around a dangerous tree lodged in a river left drop that you cant possible see until you are already committed(i found out the hard way, luckily i was able to boof onto it and slide down it rather than be wedged under it). The first run took about 2 1/2 hours because we scouted blind drops and corners and the 2nd run took about an hour less. This creek DEFINITELY deserves more than the class III rating it is given. Eddys are scarce, the drops are continuous and there is always the danger of strainers. It is very easy to broach and pin on this creek. towards the second half of the run it really picks up. if you are only a class III boater, dont even attempt this creek.... you will get hurt.

When we took off, everybody agreed that it was a more difficult creek than the neerby class III-V rated Fikes run.

An overall great creek, steep the whole way. no large scale drops just 2,3,4,5,6,7 foot high slides and ledges the entire way...epecially in the 2nd half.

remember... not a Class III creek.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-03-19 12:58:52

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.
May 7 2009 (2914 days ago)
x (1)
I saw this May 4, 2009 when Bear Creek was at @5.5/1900, and Mill Run was rockin'! It looked great,
almost too high, but definitely fast and narrow, with 2 road portages. I would have loved to do it,
but wasn't equipped or motivated to solo the shuttle, and no one else was around. Too bad.
February 13 2008 (3362 days ago)
x (1)
I grew up on this run and finally hiked the upper section yesterday from Pigs Ear to the top Mill
Run Bridge. Flow was slightly too low to scrape down. Wood was moderate but better than I expected.
There were about 3 small beaver dams that I suspect would be totally covered during medium flows.
I've done the lower section where wood can be a considerable problem (folded my first kayak in a
log assisted broach pin as a kid). Class ranges from mild be-bop at minimal flows to RAGING beast
at max and muddy flood stage. If you haven't been on it recently and the flow is high I strongly
recommend scouting blind turns and drops for lumber. I estimate the total length to be more like 5
miles in length. Its only 2.7m from the top bridge to the lake take out and I hiked the upper gorge
in 1.5 hrs in 5" of snow including approx. 5 creek crossings. Unfortunately didn't have the GPS but
the upper section felt like 2 miles...anyway very pretty, enjoy.
December 19 2007 (3418 days ago)
x (1)
Robert Farmer---Pigs Ear Road turns south from Route 40 at the PA/ MD state line, west of the
Keysers Ridge exit on I-68 (Exit 14?). There is a white church with red trim on the corner. Heading
west, if you see the sign saying "Welcome to Pennsylvania," you've gone too far. Heading east, if
you see the sign saying, "Welcome to Maryland," you've gone too far. This is a very small creek. I
looked at it a couple of days after two huge storms, when most-everything was still high, and Mill
Run was too low; I'm guessing that it needs to be caught right at the peak of a really big storm,
or when everything is still rising. I'll guess that if Bear Creek is at 4 or 5 feet (@ 1000 - 1600
cfs) and rising, that would be a good time to try to catch it. Gauge:
http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/River_show-gauge-info_reachid_708_. USGS gauge address:
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?03076600
June 1 2004 (4714 days ago)
Daniel AndersonDetails
I ran this twice with Mike Kemp and I will have to agree that this is not a class III creek! The
brief parts of this creek that you can see from the road may look like class III stuff, but when
you get back into the woods, it is defenitely continuous class IV all the way. The 2 pictures I
posted for this run were taken at the ONLY large eddie on the entire run. Eddies are tiny and
scarce, which make scouting a pain.
March 6 2004 (4801 days ago)
mike kempDetails
I ran this creek for the first time on 3/6/04, we actually ran it twice. There were 2 portages
around strainers we made, the first was a single portage around 3 strainers and the second was
around a dangerous tree lodged in a river left drop that you cant possible see until you are
already committed(i found out the hard way, luckily i was able to boof onto it and slide down it
rather than be wedged under it). The first run took about 2 1/2 hours because we scouted blind
drops and corners and the 2nd run took about an hour less. This creek DEFINITELY deserves more than
the class III rating it is given. Eddys are scarce, the drops are continuous and there is always
the danger of strainers. It is very easy to broach and pin on this creek. towards the second half
of the run it really picks up.
if you are only a class III boater, dont even attempt this creek.... you will get hurt.

When we took off, everybody agreed that it was a more difficult creek than the neerby class III-V
rated Fikes run.

An overall great creek, steep the whole way. no large scale drops just 2,3,4,5,6,7 foot high slides
and ledges the entire way...epecially in the 2nd half.

remember... not a Class III creek.


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