A 173 day old warning about this river was added. Click on comments below to read it.

Gunpowder Falls - 5 - Lower Loch Raven Dam to Route 1

Gunpowder Falls, Maryland, US


5 - Lower Loch Raven Dam to Route 1

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 7 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Gunpowder Falls Middle
virtual-230946 280 - 2000 cfs I-II 00h30m ~ 571.16 cfs (running)
Loch Raven Reservoir has to be full for this calculation to work
usgs-01582500 105 - 1430 cfs I-II 00h43m 392 cfs (running)
usgs-0158397967 10 - 150 cfs I-II 00h24m 2.4 cfs (too low)
usgs-01583600 40 - 599 cfs I-II 00h32m 38.1 cfs (too low)
usgs-01583500 80 - 800 cfs I-II 00h28m 153 cfs (running)

River Description

Because the City has prohibited access to city property at Loch Raven Dam and for about a mile downstream, the usual put-in is on Notchcliff Rd., off of Harford Road in Glen Arm, MD.  Assuming there's water (i.e. water coming over Loch Raven Dam:  See:  http://www.baltimorecanoeclub.org/index.php/en/paddling-resources/2013-10-02-01-22-40/2013-10-02-01-46-11 for more information about water levels on the Lower and Middle Gunpowder), the section of the Gunpowder that parallel's Notchcliff Rd is a good training run with a number of opportunities to teach eddy turns/peel outs and boat control.  At Harford Rd., there is an easy class II- rapid for new paddlers to try.  From Harford Rd to US 1 (Belair Rd), the river is mostly Class I moving water with a few easy gravel bar rapids.  Beware of strainers at the US 1 (Belair Rd.) bridge.  There are five tubes under the road, one or more of which is usually blocked with strainers (the rightmost one is usually clear).  Stay away from any tube blocked by strainers -- there was a death here a few years ago due to this problem.  If you can safely navigate to an unblocked tube, the take-out for this section is immediately downstream from this bridge.  If you lack boat control or otherwise are uncomfortable getting to a clear tube, take-out above this bridge and carry your boat down the pedestrian tunnel under the road to the parking area.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-07-13 17:33:39


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.
July 27 2018 (173 days ago)
TonyAllred (3101)
There is a large log jam/strainer upstream of the US 1 (Belair Rd.) bridge. Any portal blocked by
wood is a strainer and potentially dangerous. Be sure to take out above and portage the bridge
(river left) unless you are experienced and certain you have a clear portal under the bridge.
April 28 2018 (263 days ago)
onelowg60 (159664)
there is a strainer in the harford rd rapid that may or may not wash out with higher water. Always
scout. UPDATE: This strainer is no longer there...
January 25 2012 (2548 days ago)
Cagg1271 (153409)
I ran this section below 147 to rt1. When you get down to Rt. 1, 3 of the bores under the bridge
are inaccessible due to strainers. Make sure you scout this from the little penninsula on river
right. The rapids look pretty pushy against the strainers. I chose to portage the penninsula and
put in on the right side of it. This allows a carefull approach the the far right bore (this is
partially blocked as well) but the bore is clear. You miss out on what looks like a great II-, but
the reward is on the other side of the bridge. A you come out, get up to speed and dig your boof
stroke in! Very fun little rapid. The wood piles have been cleared. Bores 1 and 2 are clear for use
September 13 2009 (3412 days ago)
x (1)
Tim P. Ran this in May 09 after some rainy days. If water is pouring over the dam not a bad trip.
Took about 31/2 -4 hrs. for a shorter trip get out at Harford Rd.
April 2 2006 (4671 days ago)
Mike StetkaDetails
Ran this one in a canoe on 4/2 and there was nowhere near enough water.