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TRIPS - DETAILS PAGE

ANTIETAM CREEK Canoe/Kayak Trips: [costs $30-40 see livery details ]

A. our most asked for trip - DEVIL'S BACKBONE THROUGH ANTIETAM BATTLEFIELD TO BURNSIDE BRIDGE TAKE-OUT. [8 miles 4 hours] Guided or unguided Trip. [see map of "lower section"] can be run at levels down to 2.5 feet, appropriate for Rec & River Kayaks, as well as Canoes at 2.5-4.5 feet.

  1. Arrive at Devil's Backbone at 10AM.  Fill out waivers, Discuss waivers, pay fees not pre paid with reservation , draw your boat, paddles, life jackets and gear. [Check what to bring here]
  2. Unload all the gear you want to take on the trip. [make sure your car keys are safe] Ask the guide for stuff you forgot or need. [If you want or need your car at the take-out at trips end we run a shuttle here. It takes about 30 minutes...mind your car keys]
  3. 3. After an orientation talk, instruction and demo. [takes about 10 - 20 minutes or as long or short as the group can tolerate] Carry your boat and gear to the creek [about 30 feet]
  4. 4. Put on the creek at about 11 AM , and off you go on the first leg through small rapids, riffles, ledges, bends and unspoiled country on perfect cold, clear water. Pass Beaver Creek, German stone on stone Farm houses and Barns, under stone arched bridges .... all in the one plus hour paddle to your lunch stop at "Two goose Islands" or the long abandoned narrow gauge railroad grade on River left. [you provide the lunch unless you have made arrangements with us to do so].
  5. After lunch, paddle about 1 1/2 hours to the take out a little below Burnside Bridge. On this leg we go Under the three arch stone Keedysville Bridge [Upper Bridge in Civil War concept, Hitt's Bridge by name] pass Little Antietam Creek where, if the water is right, we can paddle up to a beautiful 5 story mill that's worth the trip; pass the water fall on river right [photo op] that marks the battlefield and McClellan's headquarters on river left [far from the actual battle] Then under the modern Middle Bridge and lastly Burnside Bridge...... Go softly here. "Take a minute..... Sense the ferment of a place where, one Wednesday morning six hundred people died trying to cross that little stone arch. And where, by Wednesday evening, their souls were numbered small among the twenty three thousand casualties for which Antietam is so awfully known. It's a bit like boating the ruins of some myth cast cathedral whose last requiem plain song won't go away." Take a deep breath. Then paddle down through Molly's hole [a one EEEK! Ledge to fondly remember]. The Take out is just 50 yards beyond on a low bank, River left.
  6. Take out, short carry and load boats, board the "Discover Bus", Suburban , your own cars or a combination of all, for the 15 minute trip back to Devil's Backbone with a soft drink and snack.  It's  about 3 or 3:30PM.[see livery for details of costs and fees]

Generally Unguided "A" Trip for 2013, Tandem canoe $ 40  per person , canoe and Kayak [11%tax, shuttle fees etc. included]
  Guided Trip adds $150 - $200 per guide to the cost of the whole group/trip.  Each of these trips is designed specifically for your group. [all fees for scouts, members and charities are included in a specific trip quote]

B. Devils Backbone to the Potomac 12 miles about 6 hours [see lower map] suitable for canoes and rec. or river kayaks. run at levels 2.5 and up - see About the Creek:  
   Creek Maps lower

  1. This trip's first 8 miles are trip A above 1 through 5  [Devil's Backbone to Burnside Bridge (BSB)]. and runs from about 11AM to 2PM.[ sometimes we run a double shuttle here. The less enthusiastic paddlers exit the creek here and wave to the hale and hearty as they go For the Potomac trip], they just paddle on past the BSB take out and continue the 4 more miles of super paddling. [1 1/2 - 2 hours] and finish up at about 3:30. The scenery is similar but the Creek steepens a bit here and moves a little faster.
  2. The big event on this section is Furnace Rapids. The last and longest rapid on  Antietam Creek. The Creek starts dropping as it gets closer to the Big River. As you round a bend, you can hear the creek grumbling some and see off and down in the distance the 4 arch Harper's Ferry Road Bridge with a long bouncy and fun rapid between. Decision Time !!! We always scout this for strainers and difficulty, before we run it. Furnace can range from an easy fun class I to a difficult and sometimes dangerous class II rapid with strainers that need skill, attention and respect. You can walk it on River right & Left.
  3. After Furnace and under the bridge through the left arch [usually], you have a fast paddle down to and beneath the C&O Canal aqueduct, a short paddle up the Potomac to the mud bank take out on your right [which is river left.... and you thought canoeing was simple] The NPS constructed, a bus and loading zone circle near the take out , which is a nice improvement . The mud bank take out on the other hand still needs some serious help and attention.
  4. Carry boats and gear to the waiting trailer, load and ride the Discover Bus or co-op shuttle on the scenic 20 minute trip back to Devil's Backbone. The whole trip takes about  5 1/2 to 6 hours. You finish up around 5PM.

Generally unguided "B" Trip for 2013 cost $40 per Tandem Canoe Paddler, $40 per solo paddler 

 

 Trip from Burnside Bridge to the Potomac, a 4+hourtubing trip in the summer and short fun canoe/kayak trip. A great cold water winter trip. 4 miles about 1.5 to 3hours for hard boats. run at levels 2.4 and up

  1. Arrive at Devil's Backbone at 10AM. [we also can pick you up at your camp site, or simply meet you at Burnside Bridge put - in] Pay fees, fill out waivers, draw paddles, life jackets and gear. [Check what to bring here]
  2. Unload all the gear you want to take on the trip. [make sure your car keys are safe] Ask the guide for stuff you forgot or need.
  3. Climb on the Adventure Bus for the 15 minute trip to Burnside Bridge.
  4. On arrival, around 11AM,  unload boats or tubes and put on the creek after a brief orientation.
  5. The Trip is as described above in trip B minus the first 8 miles. and takes about 2-4+  hours  for paddlers and 4+ hours for tubers] . Finish up back at Devil's Backbone at about 2-3 PM.

    The cost of a tubing trip ranges from $20 to $30 per person. The variable is the support necessary. Guides etc. We run a very short tubing trip from the Route 34 bridge to Burnside Bridge [about 2 hours] Great for little kids who may find a 4+ hour trip outside their attention span. Also the "Battlefield Tube Trip" from the Middle Bridge [Keedysville/Hitt] to the lower bridge [Burnside/Mollys Hole] about 3 hours.....and a 3-4 hr. Private Trip, when conditions are just right, that we don't tell anyone about.

D. Trip from Funkstown Fire House/American Legion to Devils Backbone [see upper section map] 10 miles about 5 hours - can be run at levels above 3.2, generally paddlers without sound moving water experience should be prepared to walk several rapids or avoid this trip.

  1. Arrive at Devil's Backbone at 10AM. Pay fees, fill out waivers, draw paddles, life jackets and gear. [Check what to bring here]
  2. Unload all the gear you want to take on the trip. [make sure your car keys are safe] Ask the guide for stuff you forgot or need.
  3. Climb on the Adventure Bus or your loaded vehicles for the 15 minute trip to the Funkstown Fire House. We always Scout Wagaman Road and Poffenberger Road Rapids for strainers on the way up. [These are class ll-ish rapids with consequences that paddlers should see and understand before running. Each rapid requires practiced water reading and boat control]
  4. On arrival at the put in, unload boats and run through a brief orientation.
  5. Put on the creek at about 11 AM ; off you go on the first leg through Funkstown flats, past Mitzi's Strip Joint [really] and on to small rapids, riffles, ledges, bends and unspoiled country on perfect cold, clear water. German stone on stone Farm houses and Barns, under stone arched bridges .... The first 2 rapids are short but exciting [we scouted them on the way to the put in] Poffenberger Bridge, and Wagaman Road Bridge Rapid. Lunch is right in here somewhere. Then triple drop rapid and lastly Roxbury Road Rapid. We end the trip on the flat. Say HI to Mr. Mullendore's cows as you come into Devil's Backbone County Park, and take out above the 7' Waterfall there, right across the street from the initial meeting spot, About 4PM. [...and no we don't run the falls. The dam is newly repaired and doesn't need our help to ruin]. You can put back in below the falls and paddle several hundred yards right down to the parking lot. It's a fast run with gentle play spots just under the bridge on river left and an eddy turn into our back yard on river right. [see livery details for costs and fees] Generally $35 per paddler.
     
  6. Alternative Site for lessons and high water or dangerous conditions Blair Valley Lake near to Clear Springs
     
  7. POTOMAC RIVER TRIPS - SENECA MD -

    WASHINGTON, D.C. Waterfront Trip
     

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Revised: February 19, 2014.