Anacostia, Northwest Branch - US Rte 29 to Riggs Road

Anacostia, Northwest Branch, Maryland, US


US Rte 29 to Riggs Road

Usual Difficulty I-III(V+) (varies with level)
Length 3.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 25 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01650500 50 - 5000 cfs I-III(V+) 00h21m 5.84 cfs (too low)

River Description

From just below the dam, this trip starts off with a long Class-III rapid that includes a pair of tricky drops. Virtually all paddlers then eddy out on river left, about 50 yards below the US 29 bridge, and portage the Class 5.1 "Great Falls of the Anacostia" (a.k.a. the "Colesville Cruncher"), of which Theodore Roosevelt wrote: "Excepting Great Falls, it is the most beautiful place around here." A parking area for the M-NCPPC's Burnt Mills Park has replaced the former contaminated-water dump there. Climb carefully on the rocks to see the water cascade through the huge boulders, in four distinct drops totaling some 20 feet. You also need to do some climbing on the 100-yard portage trail high on river left.
Depending on water and skill level, you can put back in above or below the final 4-foot (class IV-) chute; the drop itself is not as hard as the ferry to get lined up for it. There is a long Class II+ rapid just below the falls, and the water then calms down until the class III Beltway Rapids. After that, there are occasional class II ledges all the way to Riggs Road, and the take out at Adelphi Mills.

Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.

Ed Evangelidi testifies:
The local park police will ticket you if you run this creek as the MNCPPC has rules against boating any stream under their jurisdiction. Note a usually unrunnable rapid just below the putin that is carried on the left and, if you continue below Riggs Road, a very dangerous dam below Agar Rd. that should be carried. There is a bike trail that follows the creek and allows for easy scouting. Note that the creek is also runnable well upstream (Class I) and downstream (tidal).
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2009-03-19 12:40:27


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.

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