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Kayaking - safety in numbers

Discussion in 'Sports Talk' started by blunoz, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    I like taking my two sons out flatwater kayaking. As a general rule, I don't like going kayaking someplace new unless I go with someone else who has been there before and is familiar with the route, the put-in, the take-out, the hazards, the logistics, etc. I also believe there is safety in numbers - I would prefer to go with a group than go alone or just me and my kids. Going with a group also helps logistics in shuttling cars between the put-in and the take-out.

    That being said, if anyone else is looking for kayaking buddies to go as a group, or to share information about local paddling excursions, or if you want to trade off livery services (drop you off at one end, pick you up downstream), I thought I would start a thread here.

    Here are the local spots I've done if you have questions about them and want some information:
    - Potomac River from Point of Rocks to Monocacy
    - Potomac River from White's Ferry to Goose Creek
    - Potomac River from Goose Creek to Algonkian
    - Potomac River from under the Key Bridge around Roosevelt Island and back
    - Goose Creek from Middleburg for about 8 miles downstream
    - Shenandoah River from just before Watermelon Park to Route 7
    - Monocacy River - upper section above Frederick
    - Beaver Dam Reservoir

    As a quick reference for trip-planning, I keep links to local water levels, flow rates, water temperatures, river maps, etc here: http://blunoz.blogspot.com/2010/02/northern-virginia-kayaking-resources.html.

    Any other paddlers here in Broadlands?
     
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  2. jen

    jen New Member

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    Yes!!! My husband and I are looking for new places to kayak since the reservoir is closed. I have a few folks that I kayak with and we are all flatwater kayakers. It looks like you have done a few places that we would like to try out. Would love to get out and explore some new areas. Let's talk....
     
  3. boomertsfx

    boomertsfx Booyakasha!

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    We have a canoe and have done a few of the ones you've mentioned along with Antietam Creek... One of these years I'd like to do a 2-3 day canoe camping trip, but like you said shuttling cars is sometimes the biggest pain =)

    Nice info on your web site! I'm always looking for new places to take the family canoeing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  4. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    Antietam Creek has been high on my "to-do" list for a couple of seasons now. I was actually scheduled to go on a trip there with the Monocacy Canoe Club back in May, but there were terrible thunderstorms and that trip got cancelled. Then with all the rain and flooding causing a lot of debris to be swept down the creek, I read on the Antietam Canoe and Kayak website that it wasn't wise to do Antietam unless you're familiar with the creek and scout out the hazards first, so I think another summer is going to pass by without crossing that one off my list.
     
  5. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    If you want to see pictures, GPS track, and a description of any of the kayaking trips I mentioned above, just search my blog for the river name and "kayaking" or "paddle log."
     
  6. BigDog

    BigDog Member

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    i know this thread is old, but i'm hoping to see if anyone can advise on safe area's on goose creek and potomac to kayak for beginners. my 17 year old boy and i got kayaks and have been the reservoir, but looking for a little more "exploring". is the water tame around goose creek? how about Kephart Bridge Launch Point to algonkian? any help would be appreciated!
     
  7. doberman

    doberman New Member

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    Kephart entrance to Goose Creek is a great place to kayak - I think I like it more than Beaverdam. If you go downstream on Goose creek towards the Potomac, then the water is very tame and no concern at all. Most likely you'll have to get out a couple times so wear water shoes. If the water level is low then you'll probably hit a couple points where you can't get over the rocks, and if water level is too high then going upstream there may be points where you can't battle the current going down those same rocks. Most of the summer the water level is low.
    When you go your first time, go upstream on the Potomac so that you know you can make it back to your car. I've paddled Goose Creek down to Algonquin and back, but it's a lot of really hard work to paddle upstream all the way back. Of course you can stagger cars and paddle only one way, but I never bother with that.

    When you get more adventurous there are some fun rapids on Goose Creek, including just upstream of Kephart. But you have to carry your kayak to the top of the rapids, and there is only enough water level in spring and right after big rains. The rapids are also dependent on water level. I once tried them when the level was a little too low and got hung up on a rock so badly I damaged my kayak, and I once tried when water level was very high and hit a hole with enough energy to flip me.
     
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  8. BigDog

    BigDog Member

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    great thanks for the insight. if i can not worry about paddling upstream (i have a ride to pick me up), how far is it from kephart to algonkian? and how about from the intersection of sycolin creek and goose creek going to kephart?
     
  9. doberman

    doberman New Member

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    Even one way, Kephart to Algonkian is a long paddle, maybe 2-3 hours. I'm not familiar with Sycolin creek. You can't go wrong going downstream and getting picked up, but for your first time I'd suggest just putting in and going home from Kephart and paddling around as far and long as you choose.

    By the way, yesterday was beautiful on the water. My wife and I went to Beaverdam, saw a pair of bald eagles among other things.
     
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  10. BigDog

    BigDog Member

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    is there much current running from kephart to algonkian, or mostly paddling??
     
  11. blunoz

    blunoz Member

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    Mostly paddling. Not much current on that section of the Potomac. Lots of bald eagles and great blue herons to see though.

    Sorry for my delayed response on your question BigDog. There are a few nice stretches on Goose Creek and on the Potomac that are fine for beginners.

    On Goose Creek, you really need to watch the water levels. Like someone else wrote above - you'll end up getting out and walking a bit because the water levels are frequently too low. If you go to the link to my blog in the first post up above, you'll see links to the water level meters around the area. If you go to my blog and do a search for "goose creek" you'll see a couple of blog posts I've written about kayaking on Goose Creek. I did a nice trip with my boys from Middleburg down Goose Creek.

    On the Potomac, Point of Rocks down to Monocacy is a pretty nice, flat trip I've done with several small children armed with water guns, and you can go to the Rocky Point Creamery for some ice cream afterwards. :-9
     
  12. BigDog

    BigDog Member

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    thanks for the info. your blog is very helpful!
     

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