Can someone help me out with a question about the rapids south of Harper’s Ferry, I think they’re called Weverton. They’re about a mile south of the 340 Bridge. My question is, where is the best place to cross them (right, left, or middle)? And if there’s not a best place to kayak over them, does anyone know which side is best to portage around them?
Last year, two buddies and I put-in at Harper’s Ferry and did an overnight trek down to Pennyfield Lock. We got totally surprised by the ledge there. We made it through (just barely), but it was rough! We’re doing the trip again in a couple weeks and I’d prefer to not to have a repeat. Any advice here is welcomed. Thanks!
Things change with the level and as pieces of timber in the slots come and go. I’d say there is no best side, though I’ve never gone way over to the left. My impression is that it is shallower on the left, but I never went over there. Weaverton is fun and a fairly straightforward rapid. It’s mostly a matter of picking the right slots to drop through.
If you don’t already know, learn how to ferry across current, and preferably to back ferry. Use your ferrying skill to move left and right above the ledges until you see a slot through the ledge that you like, then just point the boat and go. Repeat the procedure at the next ledge. Be on the lookout for wood in the slots—a log in the slot can cause a lot of trouble. If you master ferrying you can take your time and calmly pick where you want to cross the ledges.
The last ledge before the flat water leading into Brunswick is Weverton. Far left, close the bank, is the most reliable route through Weverton. At really low summer levels, there is still enough water for a clean run. I also recall having good results with far right, close to the shore.
After the confluence with the Shenandoah, the river’s main current stays close to MD shore until Brunswick. So at low summer levels, the general strategy is to stay left to avoid rocks.
Upstream of Weverton there is a also ledge at Knoxville. If you poke around on the left half of the river you will find a route through.
Have fun, that is a nice overnighter you are planning.
Thanks Chip, that’s pretty much how we made it last year. We don’t have skirts, so it was pretty much just point and go. We went along the right side last time. One of us got hung-up and took on alot of water, but didn’t dump, breakfast was a total loss though. Last year the river was a little high there, 5.9’ at Harper’s Ferry, so hopefully it will be a little more manageable this time around. Thanks for your help.
Thanks Waterbearer, thanks very helpful.