This will be a downriver adventure on the most scenic part of the Potomac River. Please arrive by 9 AM so that we can be on the water no later than 10 AM.
Guests and teens are welcome to the activity, as it is okay for first-timers and safe for all.
PLEASE FOLLOW ALL THE DIRECTIONS FOR THIS EVENT. USING THE ONLINE FORM PROVIDED BELOW, MAKE SURE THAT KANDEE AT RIVER AND TRAIL OUTFITTERS HAS YOU ON HER LIST FOR A RESERVATION. IT HAS TO BE DONE BEFORE THE DATE OF THE EVENT AND CONTINUE UNTIL ALL BOATS ARE BOOKED.
If you bring your own boat and pay for the shuttle, please be aware that rotomolded boats are better than fiberglass boats as the shuttle trailer has metal bars that can scratch delicate boats. The outfitter is not responsible for damage to your personal boats if they are being shuttled by the outfitter. Please keep this in mind if bringing your own boat; I say this because, while I own a kayak, I am still renting one, so that way I do not have to worry about it.
This is a 12-mile downriver paddle, so keep in mind that it is longer than an 11-mile paddle but shorter than a 13-mile paddle. As noted earlier, guests and guests are welcome.
Whether it's "Here they come" or "There they go" it's a fun time at both ends of the flotilla
Here are the two maps showing the 12-mile paddle:
Brunswick to Point of Rocks - Map 1
Point of Rocks to Monocacy River - Map 2
Come on down to the river to get healed on a peaceful 12-mile paddle......
We will meet and leave our vehicles at the Brunswick Campground in Brunswick, Maryland. We will get there at 9 AM, check-in (and boat selection) can begin at 9:30 AM. Carpooling is encouraged.
There is no alcohol allowed in the Brunswick Family Campground and there is no alcohol allowed on the Potomac River.
Bring a bathing suit so that you can swim in the river.
Since guests and young'uns are welcome on this adventure, the RSVPs will continue until all the spots are reserved. This will be a serene, peaceful, and relaxing downriver trip, safe for first-timers and good for veterans. There are no rapids on this stretch of the People's River. There is one location with ripples, but we get through it just fine.
We will use River and Trail Outfitters, the oldest and safest family-owned kayaking outfit on the Potomac River, an operation that has been running river trips for 40 years, and it is looked at as a model for other outfitters to emulate.
You must reserve online and ahead of time an online for this event.
The cost is $57.00 per person and it includes a kayak, PFD, paddle, and the barbecue. Below are the details, and the options.
Please reserve and pay online using your credit card. Remember that this online system is for the paddle and not for the camping:
Enter Reservation: 22584
Amount: $57.00 (for a single kayak, there are 30 available)
For a canoe or a tandem kayak, it is $95.35 (covering 2 participants, and 5 available)
For just a shuttle and barbecue, it is $35.60 per person (if you have your own boat).
For just the barbecue, it is $10.60 per person.
Pay through this link:
Remember: The actual RSVP is the online payment.
When you sign up online, the important element is that the amount paid corresponds to your reservation cost (and if you are doing it for two people, simply double the total amount). If you are unsure, just call or email Kandee and she will verify that it was done correctly.
Contact Kandee with any questions:
To save time, bring the completed liability waiver with you:
River and Trail Outfitters Liability Waiver
If you have a teen coming who is under the age of 18, fill out this form:
River and Trail Outfitters Parent Permission Form
There are no refunds for this event as the outfitter has to procure food and make much preparations to ensure that our trip is safe. If you want to sell your slot after you purchased it, you can do so in the comments section, and have interested parties write directly to you.
Preparation is the key - here we are at our prior paddle getting ready
If you want to stay the night (or the weekend) and camp out after the Barbie-Q, note that River and Trail Outfitters is also the campground manager.
Here they are:
Brunswick Campground Web Site:
The Brunswick campground is very secluded, and there are bike rental as well as kayak rental establishments a short distance away (less than one mile). The entrance to the Brunswick Campground is on the C&O Towpath, at mile marker 55, which means it is 55 miles distant from Washington, D.C.
There are (yes!) modern rest room facilities with hot showers at the Brunswick campground. And there is also a Sheetz close by, that is open 24 hours a day, located at 3842 Burkittsville Road in Knoxville (two miles away). The Sheetz has food, soda, ice, coffee, fuel, and items that you may need:
Here are the directions from the Brunswick campground to the Sheetz:
If you are camping, the Brunswick Campground, there are 200 tent sites available to us. Remember that the tent sites are not marked. We can stay in Tent Area E. Be aware that there are freight trains that travel north of the campground (the tracks run parallel to the C&O Towpath) and they may be noisy at night; if you are sensitive to noise, bring earplugs. For mapping purposes, the exact location of the campground is at Lat 39.3°N and Lon 77.59°W.
The camping option is extra, and offered as a convenience to the paddlers. It is not a part of the paddling activity. If you are camping overnight, stay in Tent Area E.
Here is a map of the campground:
Brunswick Family Campground Map
For ideas on what to bring when car or tent camping, here are two documents; one is a general list I put together and the other is information particular to this camping trip:
Tent Camping and My Gear
The river view from the Brunswick Campground
This will be a full day's activity. We will paddle from the Brunswick Campground to the Mouth of the Monocacy River for a relaxing 12-mile journey. There are no rapids on this shallow and safe stretch of the river, and one can go for a swim along the way.
Bring a soft cooler or waterproof sack with your lunch (make sure you have plenty of food and plenty of water) to be eaten along the river during our downriver adventure. Paddlers get hungry and thirsty!
We will pass by the Catoctin Creek, and if we desire we can go up the creek for 1/4 mile to check out the 200-year-old aqueduct that has just been restored to its old glory
We will pass and stop at Eagle Island, and see if any of its inhabitants are flying around.
We will pass and stop at Heater Island, where the Piscataway Indians lived in the late 1600's.
Anyone care for the salad bar?
At the end of our paddle, we will enter the mouth of Maryland's most scenic river, the Monocacy River, and travel under a historic bridge that holds another waterway. That's right: We'll paddle on one body of water and have another body of water over our heads where the C&O Canal goes over the river in a historic aqueduct.
The Monocacy Aqueduct, the largest aqueduct on the C&O Canal, is an amazing waterway on top of another waterway.
We will then get picked up (with the boats and gear) at the Mouth of the Monocacy, and get shuttled back to the Brunswick Campground. There, in a private area, we will be treated to a riverside evening cookout, consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, pickles, cookies, and juice.
Bring s'mores and keep them in your vehicle, as I will build a bonfire on the river bank after our barbecue. And, yes, there are hot water showers as well as modern rest room facilities at the Brunswick Campground.
S'mores over a bonfire beside the river - a great way to end the evening
Here is a shot of our last bonfire along the riverbank
As noted, if anyone wants to stay overnight and tent camp at the Brunswick Campground, please contact River and Trails Outfitters, by telephone or email, as the outfitter is managing the campground for the City of Brunswick.
The locals may or may not take an interest in our passing
What to bring:
- A dry change of clothes that can be left in your vehicle
- A towel to dry or sit on
- Suntan lotion
- Eyeglass retainer or strap
- Plenty of water, as it is very important to be properly hydrated on our trip
- Food in a cooler or sack for the paddle, since it will be a long trip
What to wear:
Here is the weather report for our area updated in real time:
Row, row, row your boat......
The put in is where we are going to start from and end up at, and where you will park. It is also our base camp where the Barbie-Q and bonfire will take place. If you are doing your own shuttle, you will need the additional directions provided below.
Directions from the put in to the take out:
Directions from the take out to the put in:
Detailed Directions To Our Base Camp:
Okay. Let's say that, despite your best efforts, you make it to Brunswick. Greater miracles have occurred, so it could happen. Do not speed in Brunswick, or else two things will take place: You will not see the signs to the campground, and you will be reducing my tax burden.
Remember that the final point of the drive will not show up on GPS systems.
Regardless of your origin, from a geographical perspective, you have to get to downtown Brunswick. To get to downtown Brunswick, you will likely go through at least one traffic circle. Downtown is also called the Town Center.
Enter the traffic circle that is downtown. We call them "roundabouts" up here. If you say "roundabout" to an old timer, you will fit in as a local. That is, unless you nervously blink your eyes while speaking and your hands are out of sight, as that will be interpreted as a clear sign that you plan to rob his land. Anyway, you are now in Brunswick. Welcome.
The key to your journey is to follow the signs to the MARC train station.
In the traffic circle or roundabout, follow the sign to the MARC train station and to "A" Street (yes, that's the name of the street); note that you will also be on Petersville Road while on "A" Street for a short period. Bear right as you leave the traffic circle and you will quickly go from "A" Street to Maple Avenue.
You are now on Maple Avenue. Go straight down (South) on Maple Avenue. The intersecting side street to Maple Avenue will be Potomac Street. City Hall will be on your right. Follow the signs to the MARC train station.
For mapping purposes for your GPS, City Hall is located at 1 West Potomac Street, Brunswick, MD, 21716. City Hall is on the corner of Potomac Street and Maple Avenue.
On Maple Avenue, as you pass the MARC station on your right, slowly go over two sets of railroad tracks, and continue until the road ends.
At the stop sign and where the road ends, turn left to get to the campground. The Potomac River will be in front of you. Don't go straight, even if your GPS tells you to, as that has happened to tourists before and they went swimming with their vehicles.
Follow the pictures to the campground (to the left) and not the pictures to the boat ramp (to the right).
So, turn Left at the C&O Towpath even though on the C&O Towpath no motorized vehicles are allowed. Trust me.
Stay on the C&O Towpath and drive 0.7 miles on the C&O Towpath where no motorized vehicles are allowed.
Pass the Enhanced Nutrient Removal Facility (i.e., sewage plant) on your right. Keep going on the C&O Towpath even if no motorized vehicles are allowed on the C&O Towpath. Continue trusting me.
There will be a brown metal gate in front of you and the Brunswick Family Campground entrance on your right, so turn right. Enter the campground.
Stop at the stop sign. Wave at everyone that you see, as that is what locals do. There, you may see BOAB (i.e., Bonnie In A Booth), and she is the campground manager; just mention my name and she will tell you where to go. She has been telling me where to go for some time now, so she is good at that.
On your right there will be Airport Road, as that was once an airplane landing strip before WW II. You will parallel park on the left side, where there are two parking areas located by the play area (look at the campground map). I will be there to help you. Bonnie, the campground manager, will also be there to assist.
The Barbie-Q is a welcome time for hungry paddlers
This event will take place and be cancelled only if severe weather is predicted. Remember that the outfitter is the only entity that can cancel the event. A chance of rain on a 90 degree day is not a threat, but lightning is. Plus, this paddle is in water that is waist-high, and it is not as dangerous as a deep-water paddle such as the one we did at Jack's Boats in Washington, D.C. There are no large motor boats around us on this paddle due to the shallowness of the river. If there are any changes to our event, I will notify everyone by 9 PM the night before the activity.
BRING THESE ITEMS WITH YOU. To carry on top of or inside the boat, bring: Water, food, duck tape, polypropylene rope, a water bailer, and a soft collapsible container: