STRAINER WARNING: As of January, 2004, boaters were reporting a logjam at the bridge directly below Furnace Rapid, the last Class II drop before the confluence with the Potomac River. Scouting is advised, but the logjam was reported to be passable on the far right and far left.Summary:
Antietam Creek is a great Class I-II run through beautiful natural scenery and the historic Antietam civil war battlefield park.
located southeast of Hagerstown, MD.
Putin at the Rt. 34 bridge (downstream side; river left) between Keedysville and Sharpsburg.
Takeout on the Potomac River at the C&O Canal camprgound located just upstream of the creek's confluence with the river.
An excellent website for the creek is maintained by Antietam Creek Canoe Co..Description:
This section is primarily characterized by Class I-II water with rapids created by dam ruins and sharp, tight turns on this narrow creek. Spring-fed, it holds water longer than other small streams in the area and is the last to freeze and first to thaw. Practiced novice boaters should be able to handle the rapids but watch out for downed trees, which can pose serious hazards on this tree-lined run.
Landing at the historic Burnside Bridge at the Antietam battlefield is prohibited by the National Park Service. Below the bridge is an intact dam/weir that provides a two foot drop and bump. It is best run a little left of center. About 50 yards below the dam there is a landing on river left if you'd like to visit the battlefield site. The long middle part of the run consists of Class I moving water: shoals, eddys, small chutes and occasional strainers. Near the end of the run the gradient picks up as you approach the Potomac River.
The last rapid - Furnace Rapids - is a long Class II that can be scouted on the left. Immediately below is a bridge where an old but now closed takeout point was located. Continue down the Potomac River and paddle upstream to the takeout.
Shorter or longer trips can be made on this creek, but some of the bridge crossings other than at Rt 34 and at the C&O Canal park have historic preservation and/or landowner access issues.
Went down this section on June 16th, 2018. Noticed that a large metal canoe had sunk and wrapped
around a rock about a mile and a half before the takeout, creating a new rapid, now dubbed "Manard
Ran it on 28 and 29 May: some hazards but easy mostly obvious and easy to avoid. Take the dam all the way to the left.
The previously mentioned river-wide strainer below Burnside has been removed, however there is still a TON of wood on this stream right now. Both the Keedysville Rd bridge and the Rte 34 bridge have massive log jams blocking most of the usual channels. Keedysville bridge is blocked on all but the extreme right passage, and the Rte 34 bridge is blocked in the middle. The left channel has some strainers in it that are avoidable, but the gravel beds downstream before the next rapid will give you fits if you go that way, stay to the right under both bridges.
Below Keedysville Rd Bridge where the river makes a sharp bend to the right, there is a strainer/tree across the entire creek. It is passable over the middle where the trunk dips under the surface of the river, but only at or above 2.7' Anything lower and you WILL need to carry on river right. The only way I made it over today was by hitting the low-spot at full speed with my bow popped up.
We ran today at 2.65-2.7' from Devil's Backbone down to Burnside Bridge and it was very scrape-y. Recommend at least 2.8' for a scrape-free run.
Colin has it right, Ran this on 5/1/2011 and there were no strainers. The river is moving along really well right now, and I would factor on about 2/3 of the normal trip time. Most of the normal stopping points are underwater right now.
Make sure you check out this link to the antietam creek canoe club. This map shows exactly what to expect.
Ran today at 3.22' from Devil's Backbone down to the Potomac take-out. Minor wood accumulation on piers at Keedysville Rd. and Rte. 34 bridges, but easily noticed with clear channels on either side.
Great beginner/novice run w/ good surfing at dam below Burnside Bridge. Furnace rapid was a blast.
No new wood 3-20-2011.
5 years ago
by Riley Kurtts
6 years ago
by Kelly Kowalski
8 years ago
The Sharpsburg gauge is well placed for accurate flow readings on this creek. The recommended minimum of 2.5 ft. includes this section.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Antietam Creek - 18May2017
Antietam Creek Argonath
Surfing the Dam
Small guy with b ig ideas
newbies on Antietam
the three amigos
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Many thanks those who have contributed to AW's Sang Run Access Fund on line. We raised over $1200 to pay for the porta potty and gravel. Thanks to you, we've maintained this site for the State of Maryland for over 20 years! Let's also give a special shout out to Don Millard, who has cut the grass in both Friendsville and Sang Run for many years to keep our access costs low. If not for him you might see a parking fee of $5 a head at both ends! Jeff Macklin Photo
Boaters encountered a horrible surprise on the Potomac. Over 60 million gallons of raw and partially treated sewage spilled in Antietam Creek, a tributary of the Potomac.
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