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Old 12-12-2008   #1
colorado springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1
baltimore boating scene?

hey to all
i am moving to maryland in the next little bit, just outside of baltimore and i am wondering if anyone can give me heads up on the boating/rafting/fishing scene around the area. i am going to be working in Catonsville, md which is just outside of baltimore, but i would like to live toward the potomac, maybe like columbia, laurel, or even as far as silver springs. However, i am worried about the commutes in the mornings and afternoons. any information would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 12-12-2008   #2
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
Amazingly, there is boating in Bodymore, Murdaland. Right before it goes underground, Jones Falls has a 10 footer within the city limits, but do bring your body condom. There are a few little class III-IV creeks around Baltimore that run after a good rain storm: Gunpowder, Long Green Creek, etc. There is awesome playboating on the Susquehana below the Holtwood Dam when the flows are up (above ~20,000, which is not high for that river). Check out Chasing Rain- Home page of God's Gift's to Whitewater for info on Holtwood, that place is an unknown gem.

My recommendation would be to live close to where you will be working, the commuter traffic in the DC-Baltimore area is truly one of the most horrendous ordeals a person could subject themselves to. I lived in Cabin John, MD (just west of DC) and had a roomate that commuted to Baltimore for work. He was stressed and often got home too late to paddle. Unless you are leaving work early or have a lot of daylight, the Potomac will be a weekend option if you're based in Baltimore. Alternatively, you could live near the Potomac to have a year-round paddling option and deal with shitty traffic every day you go to work. To me, living in a place like Laurel has none of the benefits of living in either area I just described since you'll still be a ways from the river and still have to deal with a trafficy commute. Silver Springs would be a little better because from there you'll have a somewhat reverse commute toward Baltimore and can catch the Metro into DC, plus you'd be closer to the Potomac.

As for a crew of paddlers: GBCC (Greater Baltimore Canoe Club) is a place to start. There is also the MVCC (Monacacy Valley Canoe Club), which is based out of the Frederick, MD area. Post on the MVCC message board, Paddle Prattle, for more specifics.

"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 12-12-2008   #3
smurf's Avatar
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 118
MD paddling

I grew up and learned to paddle in the western MD panhandle (about 2.5 hrs from where you'll be.) Some other creeks and rivers to consider are: Great Falls of the Potomac, DC
Shenandoah River around Harper's Ferry, WV (near Frederick, MD)

In Garrett county (farthest co west in MD, 3.5 hrs from Baltimore):
Savage river (III-IV)
Upper Yough (one of the best IV/V runs ANYWHERE! IMO)
Top Yough (4 miles above upper, IV)
George's creek (III, near savage river)
Wills Creek (III/IV, 30 miles north of Cumberland, MD)
NF South Branch of the Potomac (III/IV)
a few other hidden gem steep creeks... (seriously! Talk to some locals in Friendsville)

In the neighborhood of Garrett county, you're not far at all from some EXCELLENT runs in northern WV like creeks in the Cheat river watershed (i.e. Elsie's, Deckers, Little Sandy, Big Sandy, Dougherty creek, Blackwater, NF Blackwater, etc, etc.) And you can go up to PA around Ohiopyle and have runs like Lower Yough, Indian creek, Meadow run, Fike's run, Morgan's run, Drake's run, etc,etc.)

Point is for real quality runs, you may have to drive a bit, but no different than traveling around CO. There's good stuff to be had there in MD and surrounding areas. Ask around and you'll have plenty of options. Good Luck!
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Old 12-13-2008   #4
Kellman's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 38
baltimore paddling...(fart noise), yeah the traffic can be effing insanity. I was graced with growing up around DC and the stupid beltway traffic, but in my personal opinion the potomac can be worth the traffic sometimes. Sit in that road rage bull for a half hour and by the time you get out onto that river into the peace and quiet of the falls scenery or mather gorge and you are pretty damn stoked on life + the paddling can be amazing with all the falls lines and funky back channels, to 5-6 fun playspots all in one run, especcially the mornings and evenings can be very nice. Check, very friendly people, im sure there are many boaters out there you could get in touch with who commute from all over the place.
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Old 12-13-2008   #5
junkshowriverchick's Avatar
moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 59
haha yep baltimore traffic definitely deserves a fart noise.
i grew up there. i dont have much to offer in the way of paddling suggestions (only ever rafted the yough) but i can tell you to avoid 695 and 495 like the plague if ya can.
dont know what youre into, but downtown baltymore merlind is pretty fun. the guys over at sonar make a meannn mixed drink. and make sure you get out to ocean shitty sometime!
just because it's diet don't mean it's good for you!
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Old 12-13-2008   #6
Kellman's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 38
hey haha! even though the place is honky tonk central ive had countless drunken excursions in ocean shitty that i will remember forever, but its all about the Indian River Inlet as far as im concerned!

broodinhoch...drop me a line if your gonna be in the potomac area looking to paddle in the next month, ill be around.


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