Patapsco, S. Branch - 2. Marriottsville Rd to Woodstock


Patapsco, S. Branch , Maryland, US

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2. Marriottsville Rd to Woodstock (Lower South Branch/Patapsco Mainstem)

Usual Difficulty I-III(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 3 Miles
Avg. Gradient 17 fpm
Max Gradient 25 fpm

mckeldon falls perspective


mckeldon falls perspective
Photo by mike kemp taken 2003 @ unknown

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
PATAPSCO RIVER AT HOLLOFIELD, MD
usgs-01589000 250 - 1800 cfs I-III(IV) 01h17m 57.9 cfs (too low)


River Description

Note: read below and/or click the Map tab to see the multiple access points for this section.

The put in is at Marriottsville Roadat the Carroll County-Howard County line. Proceed from here with caution, for just a few hundred yards downstream lies McKeldin Falls, the largest single rapid on the Patapsco River. It's a solid class 4, quadruple-ledge drop that falls a total of about 12 feet over 20 yards. When the hills on river left become high and canyonesque, listen for it, and get out (river left) to scout. The portage is a wickedly steep climb up the hill/cliff on the left, and then around to a large pool at the bottom. For the experienced, a variety of routes can be used depending on water level, but beware of small sieves against either shore, and a very wide, flat, mildly undercut rock (usually submerged and creating a strange looking hydraulic) at the dead center of the river near the bottom. It looks as if it would love to eat the nice flat bow of a playboat.

From here, the river calms again for the next 3/4 mile to the confluence, and remains in character for next 2 miles to the takeout at Woodstock Road (steep climb out on the right) to the parking lot across from a roadside bar. Don't miss this high overpass: Daniel's Dam is the next best takeout, after a further five miles (of mostly flat water) downstream.

If you'd like to run just the McKeldin Falls, for a charge of $2.00 weekdays or $3.00 weekends, you can enter the McKeldin area of Patapsco State Park and follow the signs to the McKeldin Falls parking area to park and have a short carry directly to the Falls.  


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-07-09 11:11:29

Editors


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.5McKeldin FallsIVHazard Photo

Rapid Descriptions

McKeldin Falls (Class IV, Mile 0.5)

mckeldon falls

mckeldon falls
Photo by mike kemp taken 2003 @ unknown

McKeldin Falls is the largest single rapid on the Patapsco River. It's a solid class 4, quadruple ledge drop that falls a total of about 12 feet over 20 yards. When the hills on river left become high and canyonesque, listen for it, and get out (river left) to scout. The portage is a wickedly steep climb up the hill/cliff on the left, and then around to a large pool at the bottom. For the experienced, a variety of routes can be used depending on water level, but beware of small sieves against either shore, and a very wide, flat, mildly undercut rock (usually submerged and creating a strange looking hydraulic) at the dead center of the river near the bottom. It looks as if it would love to eat the nice flat bow of a playboat.
Lat/longitude coords are approximate, from online maps.




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