Paddled from Masemore Road to Blue Mount Road on May 10, 2004. Level was right around 2' (~100-120 cfs). Lots of dead wood down but everything was passable. Thanks to the kind soul or souls who cleared paths through the strainers that previously had to be portaged. For those who have never paddled this stretch, it's a very scenic PN run...most of your trouble will come from the dead wood but anyone with good boat control should have no problems. Quarry Rapid, at the end of the run, will delight the novice paddler.
Buddy H posted, on the Monocacy Canoe Club Message Board:The Bunker Hill Road access to the Gunpowder has been changed by the MD DNR. They have cleared an area uphill from the river and old parking lot. This is the parking lot to leave cars, while the old lot by the bridge abutment will become a no parking area used for dropping off and picking up. Nothing has changed on the North side of Bunker Hill Road.
Ed Evangelidi testifies:
No question that the short whitewater stretch [Below Prettyboy to Falls Rd.] is also the prettiest part of the run. However, on a hot summer day, it is hard to beat the rest of the run [running down to Big Falls, Blue Mont or Monkton Rds.]. It takes less water to negotiate the shallow spots here and it is in a pretty state park from Falls Road to Big Falls Road. Then comes a stretch through an active quarry with man made Class 2 rapids and finally a very long stretch of fairly easy water but with bikers whizzing by on a nearby bike path and floating tuber congestion in season. The confluence of the creek and Little Falls has a great swimming hole on river left where the cold Gunpowder water mixes with the warmer tributary.
There are a couple of access points on this run. Starting from the top (Access - river miles) they are: Masemore Road - 0.0, Bunker Hill Road - 1.3, York Road - 2.1, Big Falls Road - 4.4, Blue Mont Road - 5.2, Monkton Road - 7.5. This river length was created to indicate a stretch where the river level is best described as an average of the Parkton and Glencoe gauges, not necessarily what might be a usual run. A usual run might be from Masemore Road to Blue Mount Road (a total of 5.2 miles) or Monkton Road (a total of 7.5 miles). Summer Parking can be an issue at both the Blue Mount and Monkton accesses so it's wise to get there early. Big Falls Road access has plenty of roadside parking, and Quarry Rapid (II-) -- the run's only rapid is immediately downstream from the Big Falls Road access.
Paddled 4/15/06 Cleared most major strainers but there are some narrow channels around other wood. Need to be moderately cautious. At 1st rapid (90 degree bend) there is a stump in the middle of the rapid, narrow passage on right, better to stay left if possible
Paddled from Masemore Road to Blue Mount Road on May 10, 2004. Level was right around 2'. Lots of dead wood down but everything was passable. Thanks to the kind soul or souls who cleared paths through the strainers that previoulsy had to be portaged. For those who have never paddled this strech its a very scenic PN run...most of your trouble will come from the dead wood but anyone with good boat control should have no problems. Quarry Rapid at the end of the run will delight the novice paddler.
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Just ran from Falls Rd. down to Blue Mount Rd. and it was a "relatively" smooth run at 2.15 on the gauge. There were a bunch of strainers (prob 10-12) that covered most of the river. All but one were passable but usually required pretty precise paddling (had about 2 boat widths of space). It was a little scrapey at points but overall the level was passable. There was a little bit more 'fun' right by the Falls Rd bridge and the waves down by the quarry were a welcome sight after mostly flat water and some class I stuff throughout. It was worth the 2 Hrs at 2.15. Still think that 3 is the ideal for this stretch.
ran from the dam down to blue mount rd. saturday. level was 2.5 ft. the gorge was running nice at this level, and a couple of spots were surfable with my 10ft. pyranha fusion. no strainers in the gorge to speak of. there were a total of 4 river wide strainers down to blue mount but only one we had to portage. i've never run from york rd. down to blue mount before today, but found it to be a pretty fun run. there was a very unexpected long wave train at the "Blue Mt Quarry Patuxent". it was about 100 ft long, and about .5 mile from the end at blue mount rd. even the flat water sections on the run as a hole had moving water. 3ft would make this total run a bit more fun, but some strainers that we could go under at 2.5 ft., would have to be portaged at 3ft, and others would be easier to go over.
Paddled from Bluemont road to Monkton on Saturday June 6th. Level was about 1.91'. Went out with a friend and my 7 year old son. He really likes this run mostly for the ice cream at the end of the line in Monkton. As other posts warn, deadwood is something to be aware of. There were a couple of potential strainers along the way but even my son was able to steer clear with ease.
Put in at Blue Mount Rd and took out downstream of Monkton at Lower Glencoe rd. Several new trees across the creek. One shortly after the put in above Monkton and 3-4 more downstream of Monkton. I think we had to portage around 4 of them. Nice trip though. Took about 2.5 hours with a 7 yr old. Level was 2.08.
6 months ago
by Kevin Colburn
Minimum level is a suggestion by Steve Ettinger.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
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Yet another strainer
Leah Dawson in Quarry Rapid
Gunpowder @ York Road (MD-45)
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