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Difficulty I-III(IV)
Length 1.3 Miles
Flow Range 50 - 300 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 17.7 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 05/13/2006 4:33 pm

River Description

This is, without doubt, the hardest run in the Patapsco basin. Suddenly, as Piney Run crosses Arrington Road and begins to follow Marriottsville Road No. 2, with just a mile and a third left to its life, it becomes a whitewater terror, dropping 60 feet in a third of a mile. Scout this section carefully from alongside the road before putting on, looking especially at the first quarter mile, down to the second gravel parking area. It accelerates quickly from class II to class II+, and then has a short class III drop followed by a complex class IV+ (probably best entered through the second chute from the left, and finished on the far left, but I have not seen anyone run it). Many paddlers will want to eddy out on the left above the main drop, for a brief portage, or even to skip the class III just above (as we did) to be on the safe side.
After the big drop come several more class III rapids in quick succession. The second of these is very tricky on the right side (down to the drop right next to the huge boulder on the bank), but may not have enough water to run the left side. Then the gradient eases up, to class II+, II and then I. There tend to be strainers above the confluence with the South Branch, by the intersection of Marriottsville Road and Marriottsville Road No. 2, so you might want to take out alongside the road higher up.

Rapid Descriptions


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Danny Miller
1 year ago

Be aware that this gauge is over 8 miles north at Beaver Run, above Liberty Reservoir. So consider the gauge only to be a rough indicator of local conditions. During heavy rainfall and subsequent runoff at the put-in on Arrington Road, the creek can rise much faster than what the gauge reflects. Probably doesn't need to be said, but always scout this run first.

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Andrew Froom
3 years ago

I finally got Piney Run at a descent level the week after the January 2016 Blizzard that dropped 28". Piney Run was reading about 100 CFS with 6" of snow on the ground and all day of rain. Certainly could have had more water but it was still fun. Put in just below the Arrington bridge on Marriottsville Rd. 2. Slid into the creek down a snow bank. Several small eddies and boof rocks are available until you come to the first drop. The first drop is a 2' pourover best run in the center just right of the rock with a left boof stroke placed. Its easiest to head left right after the drop but it can also but cut hard right. The next 1/4 mile is class II/III boogie water with some cool features. The best part of the run is only .3 miles long MAX but can be extended to 0.8 miles if desired. Easy to park and run by walking back up Marriottsville Rd 2. Currently strainer free.

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Robert Farmer
13 years ago

Well, I managed to catch this in the early morning of 6/26, after it dropped sharply from what must have been righteous water in the middle of the night. The gauge was @2.0 and 80-90 cfs, although I might be reading it optimistically. The second drop below Arrington Rd is the hardest, with an unrunnable main line--I snuck it easily on the left. The level was a bit too low, but minimally adequate---bounce, bounce, crash, scrape. I pushed with my hands 2 or 3 times. I had one log portage. I wrestled under one more log that would have been in the way with good water. Below where I would have taken out, with more water, just above Marriotsville Road, there were three more log jams that I went over, through, and under, respectively, if I recall correctly. Taking out above these would have been no great sacrifice, but I continued because I could. I had fun. It's a nice little run.
Because the directions above are kind of nonexistent (for nonlocals), here: From I-695, take I-70 west to just past Route 29. Take Marriotsville Rd exit. Go North.
After 5 miles or so (my odometer is broken), you'll cross the Patapsco. Subsequently, the second left is Marriotsville Road #2. The creek runs along this. Arrington Road is at the obvious bridge on your left.

Gage Descriptions

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Directions Description

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Stephen J. Ettinger


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1190531 05/13/06 Stephen J. Ettinger n/a