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Difficulty II(III)
Length 5.2 Miles
Flow Range 400 - 5000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 2 days ago 178 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 06/02/2013 2:32 am

River Description

The first 1.6 miles from Boyds (Md. Rte 117) down to Hoyles Mill Road is class I. In the 1.7 miles from Hoyles Mill Road to Schaeffer Road, there are first a pair of class II rock gardens, about a half mile of flat water, then another class II followed by a class III-. The final 1.9 miles below Schaeffer Road is pretty flat. Expect about 1 strainer/mile. The scenery is nice, with almost no signs of civilization, and lots of wildlife (deer, birds, beavers).
What makes this stream particularly accessible is that during droughts there are releases from the Little Seneca Reservoir, intended to support the flow on the lower Potomac. In August 2002, the release was around 80 cfs, which was just enough to make everything runnable (and the rapids quite technical, but not pushy). The cool water is a delight on hot summer days, and the light mist hanging over the creek is alluring.

Rapid Descriptions


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Colin Abernethy
6 years ago

Put in and take-out have been changed in location/maps to reflect true put-in and take-out per earlier comment.

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7 years ago

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Jason Allen
7 years ago

Not sure who did the put-in and take-out for the map, but it's no where near Little Seneca. The put in is just off of 117 or if you wanna skip the slow flat water, it's off of Hoyles Mill Rd. The take out will then be off of Schaeffer Rd (unless you plan on going farther). If you're unsure of where any of this is, google Little Seneca creek in Boyds. You can easily figure out from there.

Gage Descriptions

A reading of about 400 cfs on Seneca Creek at Dawsonville is normally enough (because 20% of that water will come from Little Seneca); however, during droughts, if you see the Seneca Creek reading jump, for example, from 20 cfs to 100 cfs, and there has been no rain, it means you have about the minimal runnable level of 80 cfs from the release from Little Seneca Lake.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports




Colin Abernethy


Stephen J. Ettinger


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1202280 06/02/13 Colin Abernethy Put-in and take-out coordinates corrected on map. 06/01/2013
1193581 05/11/05 Stephen J. Ettinger n/a