Description: Great run for novices trying to push their ability. This run is often considered a pre-requisite for the Lower Yough. The water is dam release and very cold. Even in the summer a splash top is recommended. If the air is cool, a dry top is a good idea. At the put-in there is good surf on river left above the put-in. Shortly aftet you get started their is a nice rapid with a series of surf ledges. There is a spot commonly used for lunch with a surf wave in the center. You will recognize this spot because the river right bank is concrete. Shortly after the river narrows and goes into the woods the there is a class II+ rapid called Robin's Nest. The conservative line is running it on river left as far as you can and still have water to float in.Takeout immediately before the railroad tracks cross the river.
To the takeout: Get on I-70 west. Near Hancock, MD, take I-68 west towards Cumberland. Just before Cumberland, watch out for a possible speed trap where the limit drops from 65 to 55, after the US 220 north interchange / exit 46. Cops like to sit on the upgrade about 1/4 mile after the overpass, or just over the top of the hill. This has gotten several folks. Continue on I-68 through Cumberland. At Frostburg / Exit 34, take MD 36 south to Westernport. On 36, watch the speed limits through the small towns. At the light in Westernport, turn Right onto MD 135 west towards Luke. Pass by the Westvaco paper plant- watch your speed because the road is narrow. About 1/2 mile past the plant, WV 46 crosses the North Branch. DO NOT turn off- stay on 135. About 100 yards past the WV 46 bridge, 135 makes a sharp left, crosses the Savage River (TINY!), and goes up a short, steep hill. You may see boats at the company building on the right immediately after the Savage River bridge; that's an alternate meeting spot that we're not using. About 50 yards after the railroad overpass at the top of the steep hill, turn LEFT at the little restaurant. Take the next left, about 50 yards off of 135. Go down the steep hill to the grass parking area. Watch your speed in here, it's residential, and there might be a lot of traffic. Also a good idea for downhill vehicles to wait at the top of the pavement until uphillers are off the gravel.
To the put-in: Follow directions to Luke, as above, BUT: Turn left onto WV 46. About 1/4 mile after crossing the river, there's an "intersection". WV 46 bears right, and so should you. At the top of a steep grade above some switchbacks, there's another intersection. WV 46 and you again bear right. After roughly 6 total miles on WV 46, there are 2 churches on the left within about ½ mile. At the 2nd church turn RIGHT. On the right at this intersection, there are signs for Barnum Whitewater Access and Pap's Bait & Tackle just before the turn, and a tiny old chapel just past the turn. Go down the hill, and the paved road ends at the putin.
Flow: This section does run naturally on occassion, but there are scheduled whitewater releases as well. See below for more information.