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Difficulty II
Length 2.5 Miles
Flow Range 150 - 500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 51 minutes ago 54.7 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 07/18/2017 1:17 pm

River Description

Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from TopoZone.

This short, pleasant trip straddles the beginning of the fall line. The put in is a little north of Liberty Road (Md. 26), half a mile above the USGS Villa Nova gauge at Essex Road (which is not quite as convenient a put in). The initial mile has good current but is pretty flat, with the first serious riffle coming as you approach Liberty Road (which is too heavily trafficked to be an ideal put in). After a little more flat water comes a series of five long class II- and class II rock gardens, spread out over about three-fourths of a mile, with the final one as you approach the bridge in Woodlawn Cemetery, where you meet the backwater from the first weir. Take out in about 200 yards, after paddling between tombstones and then exiting the cemetery; you might park in the St. Phillips Baptist Church lot, off Woodlawn Drive. The alternative is to portage or run the first (3-foot) weir and paddle a further half mile of backwater to the larger (8-foot) weir, which you must portage. From there, a half mile of class I water brings you to the start of Section 2.

Rapid Descriptions


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10 years ago

The best division point between the two sections of Gwynn's Falls in my humble opinion is the dam at Dickeysville. Above there the whitewater is no more difficult than class III and features three portages around dams (including the one in Dickeysville). Below there the river changes character and is more difficult and only has one "low pipe portage".

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Robert Farmer
13 years ago

I put in at Reisterstown road once. In this section is a small dam that doesn't look too bad, but which forms a Class 6-7 hole at high water. Portage! Also, at higher water, the section through Woodlawn Cemetery (above the bridge) is nice Class 3, but there is a powerful, serious hole directly underneath the bridge, where it's impossible to see if you're scouting from atop the bridge. Run right, but scout first.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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Tony Allred Jr


Stephen J. Ettinger


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1208135 07/18/17 Tony Allred Jr 7-17-2017 - added 1 to river length
1190518 05/11/05 Stephen J. Ettinger n/a