Update: We are now also getting a boxed lunch for the trip. The outfitter will contact all who have paid for the trip to find out what their sandwich preference is for the boxed lunch (i.e., ham, turkey, or chicken salad). There is no additional cost for this meal. I will do the barbecue in our private pavilion after the paddle. This just gets better and better!
This trip is appropriate for first-timers and teens, and guests are welcome. This will be the last kayak trip I do out of Brunswick due to the change in seasons. The summer trips have all been extremely successful so far, and this is the end of the warm water paddling season. Today is the first day of fall, so we will have an autumn adventure on the Potomac River. The water will still be warm for us.
Please arrive at the Brunswick Campground by 9 AM so that we can be on the water by 10 AM.
Guests and kids are welcome to the activity, as it is okay for first-timers and safe for all.
PLEASE FOLLOW ALL THE DIRECTIONS FOR THIS EVENT. MAKE SURE THAT KANDEE AT RIVER AND TRAIL OUTFITTERS HAS YOU ON HER LIST FOR A RESERVATION, WHETHER YOU RESERVE A RENTAL BOAT OR RESERVE A SHUTTLE FOR YOUR OWN BOAT. YOU CAN EITHER RENT A BOAT AND SHUTTLE, OR RESERVE A SHUTTLE FOR YOUR OWN BOAT AND PAY FOR IT BEFORE THE EVENT. REGARDLESS, IT HAS TO BE DONE BEFORE THE DATE OF THE EVENT.
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.
This is a 12-mile paddle, so keep in mind that it is longer than an 11-mile paddle but shorter than a 13-mile paddle. Teens 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. Check-in 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.
Guests and young'uns are welcome on this adventure. 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.
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.
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. 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:
At the Brunswick Campground, there are 200 tent sites available to us. Remember that the tent sites are not marked. We are staying 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.
If you are camping overnight, make sure you 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 usually no ripples or rapids on this shallow and safe stretch of the river, and one can go for a swim along the way. Of course, much of the river's condition depends on the weather immediately preceding our trip. Please be aware that there is no alcohol allowed on the river or in the campground.
We will pass by the Catoctin Creek, and, if we decide to do so, 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 and hot dogs.
Bring s'mores and keep them in your vehicle, as I will build a bonfire on the river bank after our barbecue if it is not raining. And, yes, there are hot water showers as well as modern rest room facilities at the Brunswick Campground.
The barbecue will be when we return from the paddle, and the sunset is at 7 PM.
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.
If anyone wants to bring one's own kayak, and just pay ahead of time an online for the shuttle and the barbecue, then it is $35.80 per person.
The cost is $51.55 per person and it includes a kayak, PFD, paddle, and a meal.
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 # 17982
Amount: $51.55 (for a single kayak)
For a canoe or a tandem kayak, it is $90.20 (which covers two participants)
For just a shuttle and barbecue, it is $35.80 per person.
For just the barbecue, it is $10.60 per person.
If you stay home, it costs nothing.
Pay through this link:
Remember: The actual RSVP is the online payment.
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 less than seven days before the event as the outfitter has to procure food and make much preparations to ensure that our trip is safe. Please be booked and paid by 3 PM the day before the event.
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.
To get to downtown Brunswick, you will likely go through at least one traffic circle.
Enter the traffic circle. 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, as that will be interpreted as a clear sign that you plan to rob his land. Anyway, you are now in Brunswick. Welcome.
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) but you will actually be on Petersville Road for a short period.
You are now on Maple Avenue. Go straight down (South) on Maple Avenue. The intersecting side street to Maple Avenue will be Potomac Street. Follow the signs to the MARC train station.
Go to downtown Brunswick, beside City Hall (City Hall is located at 1 West Potomac Street, Brunswick, MD, 21716, for mapping purposes for your GPS). City Hall is on the corner of Potomac Street and Maple Avenue. If you enter the address for City Hall on Mapquest, you will see a map for the area and you can get directions as well.
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. 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.
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.
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. This paddle is in water that is mostly waist-high, and it is not as dangerous as a deep-water paddle such as the one planned at Jack's Boats in Washington, D.C. There are no large motor boats around us on this paddle; just bass boats. If there are any changes to our event, I will notify everyone by 9 PM the night before the activity.
Since lunch is now provided, just bring extra water in case you are thirsty.
Here is the weather report for our area: