Gunpowder Falls - 5 - Route 1 to U.S.40


Gunpowder Falls, Maryland, US

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5 - Route 1 to U.S.40

Usual Difficulty II-III (for normal flows)
Length 3.3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 20 fpm
Max Gradient 40 fpm


River Description

Daniel Anderson testified on 2003-07-15 13:51:45 :

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.

THE RAPIDS

Pots Rock – 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 – 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 – 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 (+1’5”) – 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 – 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 park’n’play.

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 don’t 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.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-04-04 19:59:02

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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 28 2016 (365 days ago)
TonyAllred (3101)
Again in 2016, the gate at the Jones Road take-out will be closed from Memorial Day weekend (May
28, 2016) through Labor Day weekend (September 5, 2016). This has been confirmed with the Park on
April 28, 2016. The closure is because of overuse and trash accumulations at Jones Road over the
last few summers (Also, US 40 in the vicinity of the river has been marked "No Parking"). According
to the Park, the Jones Road parking area should be open prior to May 28, 2016 and after September
5, 2016. For a more detailed description of the river with current warnings, current level
correlations/calibrations and the correct rapid names see:
http://www.baltimorecanoeclub.org/index.php/en/paddling-resources/2013-10-02-01-22-40/2013-10-02-01-46-11.
March 25 2015 (764 days ago)
TonyAllred (3101)
According to discussions between the Gunpowder Falls State Park and the Baltimore Canoe and Kayak
Club, the gate at the Jones Road take-out will be closed from Memorial Day weekend (May 23, 2015)
through Labor Day weekend (September 7, 2015) because of overuse and trash accumulations at Jones
Road over the last few summers (Also, US 40 in the vicinity of the river has been marked "No
Parking"). According to the Park, the Jones Road parking area should be open prior to May 23, 2015
and after September 7, 2015. For a more detailed description of the river with current warnings,
current level correlations/calibrations and the correct rapid names see:
http://www.baltimorecanoeclub.org/index.php/en/paddling-resources/2013-10-02-01-22-40/2013-10-02-01-46-11.
April 21 2014 (1102 days ago)
sdfetrow (154626)
According to a sign at the gate of the take out parking lot on Jones Road: The parking lot will be
closed beginning May 1, 2014 until September.
April 26 2013 (1462 days ago)
TonyAllred (3101)
In the description above, "Fall Line" rapid is incorrectly identified as "Fault Line"; and "Pot
Rocks" rapid is incorrectly identified as "Pots Rock".
May 12 2005 (4368 days ago)
Stephen J. EttingerDetails
Here is how to calculate whether you will have enough water. a)Check whether Loch Raven Reservoir
is full -- it normally stays full if the inflow exceeds about 150 cfs; b)If it is full, add the
gauge readings on the Gunpowder (at Glencoe), Western Run and Beaverdam Run. They should total at
least 350-375 cfs in the winter and spring, 400 cfs in the summer (when there is more evaporation
and more water drawn from the reservoir for lawns). c) If it is not full, forget it. d) It takes
about 2 days (at low levels) for that water to get to this section -- so, for example, Thursday's
reading will tell you whether you will have enough water on Saturday; e) Above those totals, you
get about 1 inch for every 40 cfs, for the first foot or so. After that, each inch requires more
cfs, but I haven't worked out the formula.


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