South Branch of Potomac

I need assistance from anyone familiar with this area. I am doing a 28 mile trip this weekend and was told the water was too low from Big Bend Campground (Smoke Hole) to Moorefield. Can anyone give me more information? I’m skeptical because the information was obtained from a local canoe shop that will be shuttling us. It is $85 for a shuttle for that trip, but if we can’t do it and have to adjust our start and stop point, then the price goes to $300 for shuttling. Big difference, so just want to see if there is anyone with knowledge of that area.

American Whitewater

AW is a website formatting water level gauge information and advice. Go there.

At ‘BELOW RECOMMENDED’ levels there may be water or not or not everywhere but frequently or…depends on the river/stream.

If you are a touring paddler ‘BELOW RECOMMENDED’ often gives a shallow twisting water course often more interesting than a full force ride to the sea.

To gauge that look thru Google Images for the stream name and towns names. Eyeball the rivers topo projecting a fall ratio - you need to look that up, gaining an understanding of what the stream is doing on the land it flows over.

Often ‘BELOW RECOMMENDED’ has water disappearing into a vast stone ball sandbar halfway down a canyon. Bring good shoes and cold cola’s

AW link

here is the link to AW the river is listed as 'lower runnable today

Thanks so much!
I was looking at that website but I couldn’t find anything but that it was at 4 foot.

on the region or the state and then go to " what’s running"

NOAA stream gauge
plus locations on the river using an English language search:

the AW site is click SEARCH then add whatever you have…

NOAA sez thunderstorms at Harpers Ferry

Google Images
Moorefield Potomac River

Another resource
Find the home page for the Monocacy Canoe Club. From there link to the list of ranked rivers, which is a great resource that ranks rivers by difficulty and, important for your question, lists the minimum runnable level for each listed river segment. I’m sure Smokehole will be listed and maybe your section, too.

Good luck with your trip.


AW GooImages

AW info surfaces in GooImages