River Info - Lower Gunpowder

Rating: II-III

Description A favorite among Baltimore area paddlers. It is a 3.4 mile paddle with a variety of features.  There is no online gauge.   The visual gauge is located on the downriver side of the Rt. 1 bridge on river left.  See below for additional information regarding flow.

The first rapid you come to is Pot Rocks.  This is typically run on river left at normal flow.  At higher flows there may be an island in which case you would want to be on the river right side of the island but definitely stay on river left in that channel.   At levels above 1.5’ there can be a pour-over creating a low head dam type feature. 

After some other smaller features, you will come to Fall Line.   This is a very long rapid.  You can easily scout the rapid from the paved trail on river right or even portage it.  At all levels, the standard line is to stay left of center from top to bottom of the rapid. 

There are a few class II rapids which can easily be read-n-run.  There are no names for those sections. But some descriptions can be added later.

S-turn is the last rapid on the river.  As soon as it begins it flows to the right and then turns down river again.   At the top at lower water there is a nice surfing hole with good eddy access.  At the bottom on river right there is a nice crisp eddy line for doing stern squirts.   The inside corner of the last turn at lower water usually allows and “elevator” more to go back up to the top of the rapid.  Sometimes it can be a play wave or hole at higher water.

Directions:To the take-outGo north on 40 from the white marsh area and taking a left onto Jones road just past the Big gunpowder river sign. The take-out parking lot is the gravel lot on your left.

From the takeout to the put-in: Make a left out of the gravel lot onto Jones Rd. At the stop sign, make a left onto Philadelphia Rd.  Make a right onto Raphael Rd. Make a left onto Mt. Vista Rd. Make a left onto Rte. 1 (Belair Rd.). Near the bottom of the hill before the river, make a left into the Gunpowder State Park parking lot. Don't follow the AW directions unless you want to do the Middle and Lower Gunpowder which is a much longer trip.

Flow Info: Steve Ettinger explains on AW:  If Lock Raven Reservoir is not full, forget it.  If it is full, add the gauge readings for the Gunpowder at Glencoe, Western Run, and Beaverdam Run.  They should total at least 400 cfs.  You get about 1 inch for every 40 cfs up to a foot. Click Here to check the forums for Reservoir level updates. This formula is relevant for the Middle Gunpowder too. Add the Long Green Creek flow info in addition to that formula for the Lower Gunpowder. You can run it down to 0" on the bridge gauge, I usually run it at 4" or higher on the gauge.

Cresting at Loch Raven = Water Level at the Bridge (2014/2015 observations)

12" = 9" (all tubes under rte 1 clear.  above freezing with snowmelt)


http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=01584050 (Long Green)                                                                                 http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?site_no=01582500 (Gunpowder @ Glencoe)

USGS Water-data graph for site 01584050USGS Water-data graph for site 01582500

 http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?01583500 (Western Run)                                                                                           http://waterdata.usgs.gov/md/nwis/uv?site_no=01583600 (Beaverdam Run)

USGS Water-data graph for site 01583500USGS Water-data graph for site 01583600
http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv?site_no=0158397967  (Minebank Run, Glen Arm)          http://waterdata.usgs.gov/usa/nwis/uv?01583800 (Long Quarter Branch, Lutherville)

USGS Water-data graph for site 0158397967USGS Water-data graph for site 01583800Nick