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Upcoming events (4+)
Hurricane Ida filled up the river last week, so I'm pretty confident we'll still have enough water to actually run the trip this time. Fingers crossed!
This trip will involve paddling in moderate currents and shuttling in a car with other members. Please read the entire post to ensure you understand the plan.
Here's the short version:
10:00: Meet at Devilbliss Bridge Boat Launch. We will leave as many cars here as possible since there is more parking here than at the put-in. Those drivers will load their boats and gear onto my trailer.
10:20: Everyone hops in a car and we drive our caravan 12 miles north to the bridge at Rocky Ridge Road.
11:00: Launch our boats from the Rocky Ridge Bridge access point.
12:45: We'll beach at the Creagerstown ramp to have lunch. Bring lunch!
2:45: We'll arrive back at Devilbliss Bridge. People whose cars are here can load up their gear. Then, at least two of them have to drive the remaining paddlers back up to their cars at Rocky Ridge.
Devilbliss Bridge Ramp Address:
8276 Devilbiss Bridge Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788
Look at the satellite view, don't blindly follow your GPS. The ramp is under the west side of the bridge.
Rocky Ridge soft launch Address:
10611 Rocky Ridge Road, Rocky Ridge, MD
Park along the eastbound shoulder, west of the bridge.
Here's the details:
Is everyone vaccinated? Of course you are, because this isn't a group for lunatics! That means we can finally, safely host our first car-shuttle river trip. Four of us did this with a bike shuttle last September and it was beautiful... and exhausting. I'm hoping to skip that second part this time.
This is a mostly flatwater paddle, with a few areas of swift water, but no real rapids to speak of. It is a gorgeous, almost entirely wooded stretch of river. The total trip will be just under 12 miles. That may sound like a lot, but we will have current pushing us the entire way and feel more like 8 or 9.
This is event is suitable for inflatable paddle boards, sit-on-top kayaks, canoes and touring/sea kayaks. Anyone using a recreational kayak should be experienced using their boat in mild currents. Fiberglass SUPs and kayaks are not recommended due to possible low water levels. Inflatable kayaks and rafts are not allowed. Everyone must WEAR, not just bring a USCG-approved life jacket or PFD.
This is a fairly complicated plan and requires all participants to arrive in the correct places at the correct times. We will leave the takeout promptly at 10:20, so please arrive with plenty of time to transfer your gear and get prepared. We will not wait for latecomers.
Ever wonder what they do with all of the Bay muck after they dredge shipping channels? THEY MAKE ISLANDS! After nearly eroding away over the past 400 years, Hart-Miller Island has been bulked back up and is now an ecological preserve, beach and campground.
We will launch from Rocky Point Park in Essex, MD. Proceed past the guard booth to the head-in parking 500' ahead on your right. Park near the second building and unload your boat or board onto the beach. We will launch together promptly at 11am.
The crossing to Hawk Cove is 1.5 miles, and while somewhat protected, we have experienced high winds and up to 2' waves on occasion (though I'll reschedule if severe weather is forecasted). We will stick together as a group for the approximately 45 minute trip. After we arrive on the island, we'll hang out for about 90 minutes. You could have lunch on the beach, borrow a bicycle and explore the island, or go for a swim. We will then reconvene to paddle back to Rocky Point. If everyone is comfortable with it and conditions allow, we can make a detour to Pleasure Island and add another mile to the trip.
All members should have experience paddling in open water conditions. Everyone should have either a sea/touring kayak with bulkheaded hatches or a paddleboard that you are comfortable using in potentially choppy water. Sit-on-top kayaks are permitted, provided you are experienced paddling in windy conditions. No whitewater, recreational or inflatable kayaks are allowed on this trip. Everyone must WEAR, not just carry, a USCG-approved personal floatation device.
Have you ever wanted to see the beautiful cypress trees at Trap Pond in Delaware? Me, too!
Laurel, Delaware is a bit of a drive, so we're planning a full day of activities to make it worth the ride.
We'll launch at 10 am and paddle the Terrapin Branch Water Trail which is about 3 miles round trip. Then we'll break for a picnic lunch. Afterwards, we can take a hike around the pond. Finally, we'll stop for dinner on the way home (Location TBD, but somewhere with outdoor seating).
You can join us for all events or just part of the day. The cost of the park admission is $8 per person.
This event is suitable for kayaks or paddle boards, but not inflatable kayaks. For this event, a shorter kayak would be preferable to a sea kayak for ease of maneuvering through the trees. As always, you must wear your PFD.
More info on the park below.
What new skill did you pick up in 2020? Baking sourdough? Playing the guitar? I got big into 3D-printing... as in 17 feet big. Yes, that's a picture of me and the "Spirit of 2020", my custom-designed boat that, much like it's namesake, had great potential but turned into a disaster.
Many of you have heard the tales of the first two attempted launches of my boat last year. It lasted 18 whole minutes before breaking in half last time. Well, I've made some major improvements and I'm certain it is built to last this go. Well, I'm confident at least. Okay, somebody will still be paddling the rescue canoe. ANYWAY....
The main event will happen at 2pm at the Brown's Bridge launch on Rocky Gorge Reservoir. We'll head upstream about 1.5 to 2 miles depending on the water level, then turn around and go back to the put-in. If the boat survives that long, you all are welcome to take it for a spin afterwards. Success will be celebrated afterwards with Rita's or pizza in my backyard! Failure will be mourned in a similar fashion.
This event is suitable for rigid kayaks, canoes, and irregularly shaped masses of corn-based plastic and fiberglass. Paddle boards are unfortunately prohibited at WSSC reservoirs. As always, you must WEAR, not just carry your life jacket/PFD.
WSSC is once again requiring watershed use permits for the 2021 season. Permits are $7.75 per day or $72 for the year, which allows access to both Rocky Gorge and Triadelphia reservoirs. I think a ticket for not having one is $50. You can purchase them online at: