Savage - 1. Avilton Lonaconing Road to Head of Savage Reservoir

Savage, Maryland, US


1. Avilton Lonaconing Road to Head of Savage Reservoir

Usual Difficulty II(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 12.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 55 fpm
Max Gradient 100 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-01596500 300 - 1900 cfs II(IV) 01h09m 52.8 cfs (too low)

River Description

Gertler, Ed; Maryland and Delaware Canoe Trails
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-08-14 12:34:49

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.
May 14 2017 (612 days ago)
Bruce FleckensteinDetails
Ran this 5-13-2017. Barton Gauge was 650 and steady. This was an ideal level. I wouldn't want any
more or less. There were 4 wood portages from the put-in at Mt Aetna Rd. to Avilton-Lonaconing
Bridge. There was also some ducking and dodging here. The creek is really small in this stretch and
braids at one point. Below the Avilton-Lanoconing Bridge things started to get better. The creek
got wider and started to pick up rapids. There were 2 portages early on. There were no wood
portages in the gorge but many blind turns. We boat scouted cautiously. The gorge was beautiful and
was a fun class 2-3 paddle. The big rapid was evident around a slight bend to the right. At this
level, the pool above was flowing and there was a sufficient eddy on river right. Below the big
rapid, the creek began to feel less gorge like, wider with continuous class 2 and few eddies. There
were a couple trees that we barely ducked under and another portage. There were also a few ledges
and another braided section at one point. We took out just above the Westernport bridge on river
August 4 2008 (3817 days ago)
Jared EspleyDetails
We ran the section from Avilton-Lonaconing Rd. to Westernport Rd. on 2Aug08. By reports, it had
rained hard in the area overnight. Based on the 500 cfs reading at Barton at 1pm, we put on around
4:30pm. By the data here, at 6pm which was the halfway point for the trip, the gauge had fallen to
around 350 cfs. The water we had was entirely too low. We scraped nearly the entire time with some
parts literally unboatable. I'm very forgiving of scrapey rivers and this was way too low even by
my standards. The run seemed like it would definitely be entertaining with more water.
March 25 2007 (4315 days ago)
stratford douglasDetails
What Charlie said. It was a beautiful day on a special creek, watch for wood, and don't park on
avilton-lonaconing. Some stats: Barton gauge was at 650 cfs and steady, and there was plenty of
water. Higher or a little lower would have been good too, but 650 is lots of water. Also, it's a
short distance on the map but a much longer distance on the water. The creek takes a *lot* of
twists and turns (check it out on Google Maps). It took us 2.5 hours from put-in to take-out, with
no breaks and the creek screaming along the whole way.
March 24 2007 (4316 days ago)
Charles WalbridgeDetails
On March 24, 2007 we encountered two unpleasantly aggressive landowners at the bridge where
Avilton-Lonaconing Road crosses the Savage. Signs read "DNR and everyone else keep out". They own
both sides downstream, one side upstream, and act like they own everything else! We had an entire
family screaming at us as we attempted to launch from an unposted stretch of river across the
street from them,and they continued when we moved to put in along the bridge right if way.
We were probably in the right, but we didn't want to risk my buddy's unattended shuttle truck. We
continued across the bridge towards Lonaconing and took a left turn following signs towards the
Savage River Inn. There is parking on state-owned property where the road crosses the river. It
adds a few miles of fast-moving flatwater to the trip at 750 cfs at Barton.
It's a beautiful run through one of the prettiest gorges I've seen. It's isolated, lush, and
unspoiled. There are high cliffs, beautiful waterfalls, and interesting rock outcropings.
Watch out for strainers! We carried the "strong class IV" towards the end of the gorge. There's
lots of fresh rockfall and large boulders block many chutes. We took out at the Westernport Road
The gorge is Class II-III with one IV++ drop. The person who says it's Class II is referring to
the section below our takeout. The river here is milder and less scenic.
March 23 2007 (4317 days ago)
Fran FitzpatrickDetails
This is a great class II run. Paddled it on March 15, 2007 at about 800 cfs. There was no class IV
as previous commenter indicated. Julie Fitzpatrick
June 29 2002 (6045 days ago)
Ed EvangelidiDetails
Savage Lake is long and very narrow and has mountains that come up right next to the lake. This has
attracted many boaters who like scenic flatwater.
June 23 2001 (6416 days ago)
Robert MullenDetails
Midway through this class II run there is a Strong class IV. It has been told to me that the name
of it Jacobs Ladder by locals.