This photo needs editing.
Difficulty I-II
Length 9.7 Miles
Flow Range 3.20 - 9.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 58 minutes ago 3.18 [FT] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 06/19/2018 11:10 am

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..

Rapid Descriptions


default user thumbnail
jim walraven
8 years ago

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.

default user thumbnail
Shane Hollis
9 years ago

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

default user thumbnail
Jami Bonitz
9 years ago

Hey, Thanx for the info... what would be the less scetchy level to run this creek at?

default user thumbnail
Shane Hollis
10 years ago

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 banks.

Gage Descriptions

A reading of 3.0 ft. or more is recommended for comfortable floating.

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




Tony Allred Jr


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1209879 06/19/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-15-2018 - cleanup
1209880 06/19/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-15-2018 - cleanup
1209882 06/19/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-15-2018 - cleanup
1209883 06/19/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-15-2018 - cleanup
1209004 02/27/18 Tony Allred Jr 2-25-2018 - cleanup
1209878 06/19/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-15-2018 - Adjusted River Length
1209005 02/27/18 Tony Allred Jr 3-15-2018 - cleanup
1194008 08/01/04 n/a 10-27-2017 - Cleanup