Antietam Creek - 1) Upper: Oak Ridge Dr. to Hwy.68 (Devils Backbone Park)

Antietam Creek, Maryland, US


1) Upper: Oak Ridge Dr. to Hwy.68 (Devils Backbone Park)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 9.7 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01619500 3.00 - 9.00 ft I-II 01h10m 3.68 ft (running)

River Description

Located SouthEast of Hagerstown, MD, Antietam Creek is a great Class I-II run through beautiful natural scenery and the historic Antietam Civil War Battlefield Park.

Put-in (for the 9.7 mile run) is from a lot on southeast side of the Oak Ridge Rd. bridge, just north of I-70.  A shorter put-in (resulting in a run of 6.7 miles) is downstream at Wagaman Rd which cuts off about 3 miles of moving water and preserves most of the Class II rapids.  Take-out in either case is at Devil's Backbone County Park above the dam.  Alternatively, carry the dam and takeout at the MD 68 bridge.
The creek can be floated further upstream during wet periods. See Maryland and Delaware Canoe Trails Gertler, Ed, for the upper reaches.


There are four Class II rapids on this run, making it a wee bit more difficult than the lower section. Strainers are also a problem on this section, particularly near the end. Some bridge crossings have landowner access issues.

An excellent website about the creek is at Antietam Creek Canoe Co..

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-06-19 11:10:49

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 8 2011 (2810 days ago)
walrajr1 (153038)
Upper Antietam: Ran this 10 mile section(Oak Ridge Rd. to Devils Backbone Park) at 3.78 ft. on May
7th 2011. I scouted all problem bridges, and found them to be runnable (Wagaman Rd. Bridge,
Poffenbarger Rd. Bridge, and Roxbury Rd. Bridge). I prefer this run to the lower for it's
comparative abundance of rapids, and fun little play spots. (for you rec. boaters) My friend ran
this in her 10 ft. skirt-less rec. boat, and did fine the whole way down, and only got minor water
inside her boat. Add a ft. to the level we ran this, and skirt-less rec. boaters may get swamped.
Is there flat water on this run. Yes. Do the fun rapids in between, and beautiful scenery make up
for it. Yes! 3.78 ft. was a good level and not scrapey, and the flat water still pushed you along
for the most part. Add a ft. the level and the fun factor would go up 1 to 2 points. 3ft. and below
I wouldn't run this due to the rapids becoming so boney that you may have to portage them. 3.5 may
even be pushing it. My recommended running level would be 4-5 ft. Enjoy as we did.
March 16 2011 (2863 days ago)
Shane HollisDetails
Go with 3.5ft -7ft any less its work any more its flood . 5-6ft is perfect for this run. ran it
3-12-11 at 6ft and it was a blast for a exp novice. new wood on the first rapid but overall less
wood than in past years. without wood its 2+ at 5ft and up, 2- under 5 ft
April 10 2010 (3202 days ago)
Jami BonitzDetails
Hey, Thanx for the info... what would be the less scetchy level to run this creek at?
January 22 2010 (3280 days ago)
Shane HollisDetails
Ran this 5 times last year. very nice run to take out novices. lots of stone bridges. if your lucky
you will see some river otters and owls. i prefer this section to the lower because of more rapids.
great fishing river as well. the 10ft max is prob a little high it would be very sketchy at that
level. i ran it at 6ft and it was more of class 3+. at 10ft it would be at flood level and over its