Big Elk Creek - PA Route 341 to Elkton

Big Elk Creek, Maryland, US


PA Route 341 to Elkton

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 12.6 Miles
Avg. Gradient 15 fpm
Max Gradient 15 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01495000 130 - 5000 cfs I-II 00h27m 110 cfs (too low)

River Description

Pretty pastoral stream, the most scenic part of which runs through the Fair Hill Natural Resource Area, which is an old duPont family fox hunting estate. Here's a tidbit for you Oprah fans-the movie Beloved was filmed at Fair Hill, and the set, which is a grouping of historic farm structures, is still there. It's worth checking out, especially since there is a nasty partially washed out low water bridge located nearby, followed by a completely washed out bridge that gathers strainers, followed by a harmless but pretty covered bridge. This low water bridge is the only serious hazard I'm aware of on this stream, and it should be scouted before running this section at high water.

From Ed Gertler:
Though I posted the following on the board, it occurred to me that I should have just sent it straight to you. So here it is. Glad to know someone else enjoys this lovely creek (great for crosscountry skiing also).

In reply to your request for opinions on the Big Elk gauge at Elk Mills, I most recently ran from PA Rte. 841 to Elkton a few weeks ago on extraordinarily slowly dropping (read that stable) levels, the flow that day being 140 down to 110 cfs. I found the creek bumpy in a few spots, but otherwise the level was adequate for me, a light guy in a voluminous C-1. I intend to call 130 cfs minimum whenever I next revise MD& DEL Canoe Trails. If you want to do the upper creek (from Elkdale, starting on the E. Br.) you probably want about 450 cfs at the gauge. This is based on the historical record of the AVERAGE flow that day. Keep in mind that it is nearly 15 miles from the upper put-in to the gauge which, on a normally flashy stream such as this, makes a gauge reading an approximation at best. Hope this helps you out.
StreamTeam Status: Verified
Last Updated: 2005-05-02 20:47:25

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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