Gunpowder Falls, Maryland, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||20 fpm|
|Max Gradient||40 fpm|
The typical put-in for the Lower GunPowder is at the US1/Belair Road Bridge. There is a really nice gravel parking lot with easy access to the river on river left. Putting in here cuts off some of the flat water that you would have to paddle if you put in at Contend Bridge. The take out is at Jones Road, right before you get to the Route 40 bridge.
Pots Rock Â this is the first real rapid, run it from river right to left. At most levels, there is a descent surf wave at the very top of the rapid. The eddie at the bottom of the rapid on river right is really great for enders and cartwheels. At some levels, the hole right after the ledge is really good for spins.
Fault Line Â this series of rapids is about a fourth of a mile long and begins right after you go under the I-95 bridge. There are tons of little play waves and holes on the way down this rapid, but they are mostly catch-em-as-you-go because eddies are scarce. At higher levels, there is a really fun slot move on river right about halfway through the rapids. Directly at the bottom of the slot move, there is a really good surfing wave.
S-Turn Â This is the best rapid on the run. It consists of a nice little ledge drop, then the river makes a SHARP turn to the right over a huge rock. The first little ledge drop makes a really nice surfing wave at higher levels (+1Â5Â) Â I had about a 5 minute surf! At lower levels, it makes a really awesome hole that is great for spins. The water going over the huge rock makes a really great hole, perfect for spins, loops, whatever! Watch out for the rock that is DIRECTLY downstream of this hole Â if you get flipped (and you will!), you better roll up quick or your shoulder will be hurting! The best thing about this rapid is that at all levels, at least one of the wave/holes will be good. You can also hike down the railroad track from Jones Road if you want parkÂnÂplay.
Maryland and Delaware Canoe Trails, Ed Gertler
Buddy H posted, on the Monocacy
Canoe Club Message Board:
The York Road Bunker Hill access to the Gunpowder is changing. They have cleared an area uphill from the river and old parking lot. This will become a new parking lot while the old lot by the brige abutment will become a no parking area used for dropping off and picking up. During the construction phase access from York road is severely restricted and may even be closed. Not sure what their plans for the north side access area of Bunker Hill are.
John Berg relates:
This is a great run if you can catch it after a rain when Loch Raven Reservoir is full. At lower levels there are not too many playspots. I have not run the upper sections. I usually put in at the Belair Road (Hwy 1) bridge for a shorter but more action-packed run.
Ed Evangelidi testifies:
There has been some theft problems at the various takeouts, so donÂt leave your boat or gear unattended or leave anything of value visible in your car. Use the hiking trails (river right is best) to scout any rapids that you are unfamiliar with.