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American Whitewater - US 40 to Potomac River, Catoctin Creek Maryland, US

Catoctin Creek - US 40 to Potomac River

Catoctin Creek, Maryland, US


US 40 to Potomac River

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 28.8 Miles
Avg. Gradient 12 fpm


Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01637500 2.20 - 10.00 ft I-II 00h48m 1.7 ft (too low)

River Description

Five MCC members got a rude surprise yesterday near the end of pleasant run on lower Catoctin creek (Rt. 180 to the Po/Lander Rd. takeout: a 200-yard mandatory portage up to the towpath and around the C&O aqueduct, which is being rebuilt.

Construction forms take up all the space under the new arches, leaving maybe a foot of clearance at yesterday’s levels.

It looks like it will be a while before the work is finished as of 3-1-11


Ed Evangelidi testifies: Gertler has this same trip at roughly 25 miles. There is a gauge at Rte. 17 and the dam there and riffles below should have sufficient water to considering putting in there. Should be cleanly runnable without scraping to consider putting on further upstream. The park service is considering discontinuing access to the Potomac River takeout at Lander, but it is still open at this time.
access points from John Duke
any questionse mail me!
Mile 0.0--Rt. 40 bridge:not recommended,use the park on river right just downstream
Mile 1.3--Brethern Church road: room for 3 or 4 cars with a gravy put-in,this is a low-water bridge and must be carried
mile 3.7--Rt. 17 bridge just south of myersville: not recommender,very little parking and farm fences on all sides.
Mile 6.7--Station road bridge:not recommended
Mile 6.8 to 7.1--Shank road follows on river right with nice access pull-offs.
Mile 9.8--Alt. Rt. 40 bridge: not recommended
mile 11.3 -- bidle road bridge: Not recommended
Mile 12.3--Rt. 17 bridge just south of middletown: excellent access just downstream of the bridge at the u.s.g.s. gauge
Mile 14.3--Bennies hill rd.:OK for a couple of cars
Mile 16.o--Shumantown road bridge:Park property on downstream river left with OK parking
Mile 18.7--Poffenberger road bridges and follows the creek for 1/2 mile but is posted!
Mile 20.8--Rt. 383 bridge:not recommended
Mile 22.4--Rt.180 bridge: nice parking on downstream left
Mile 24.7--Rt.464 bridge:Ausherman road hangs an upstream river right with decent access
Mile 28.4--Confluence with the MIGHTY Potomac river
Mile 28.8--C&O canal at Lander:Excellent boat ramp on the Potomac
to locate access points see maps below.
Camping areas
Gambrill state park
Greenbrier State Park
Both parks are conveniently located off Rt.40.One to the east of the creek and one to the west
Suggested river trips and descriptions
#1 Myersville park to Shank Road---6.8 miles
This section contains the best and worst! At mile 2 the sounds of I-70,The sights of developments,and the smell of french fries deter you from this otherwise attractive stream.But don't worry below below the rt.17 bridge this stream enters the"TEENIE WEENIE GORGE" with much better scenery and nice class 2- rapids on down to Shank road!
The low-water bridge at Brethern church is a mandatory portage!
there is also one tree carry above Brethern church road

#2 Shank road to rt.17 below middletown--5.5 miles
#3 Rt.17 to Rt.180--10 miles
#4 Rt.180 to Lander on the mighty Potomac--6.4 miles
Sections 2-4 are not quite as lively as section 1 but are still a nice way to spend a nice day on relatively unspoiled stream..In the fall of 2002 there were no mandatory tree carries but there were quite a few trees and brush to manuever around! Also there are many Beaver dams all with passage..

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-07-11 16:18:22


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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