My wife and I are novice kayakers. Last summer, we rented kayaks on Deep Creek Lake, loved it, so went to Walmart and bought our own. No judging, please! We stay mostly on lakes, like Jennings Randolph, Savage River, and the Youghiogheny. We did a short trip on the Potomac from the Allegheny fairgrounds to just before Cumberland. We’re thinking about putting in at the Riverside park in Cumberland, and kayaking down to Spring Gap tomorrow, Sunday June 11th, afternoon. Does anyone have experience with this stretch? Is it safe and calm? I should mention that my wife is 3 months pregnant. The doctor said that kayaking on calm waters was ok, but no serious rapids. We have basic gear, i.e. kayaks, paddles, PFD’s, and first aid kits. This has been fine so far, but we’re both getting tired of the same lakes. Any input is welcome,
Stay very close to shore and wear your PFDs.
How did your trip go? I can see a couple of interesting features around a couple of islands in the section you mentioned.
Not enough time to touch base with my sister who lives in Cumberland and paddles the Potomac frequently. I can fremommend the streach from Old Town to PawPaw for novices in summer. No rapids and a few shallow ledges that you may need to scrape over.
We decided to go to Mount Storm instead. Wish we would have stuck with the Potomac instead, Mt Storm was just too windy and choppy to really enjoy it.
I heard back from my sister & your original section of the Potomac does have at least on rapid where a novice might swamp a canoe. Old Town to PawPaw would be a better choice.
“As she gets more pregnant they need to stay on flat water – that added weight out the front just makes river banks more troublesome. Yes, they could have had some trouble in that stretch. Water levels have been up due to the rains of late but there is a stretch in there that if you don’t read the water correctly, you could end up swamped or worse. With only lake paddling experience they need to learn about currents and the other nuances of moving water.”