Upper Potomac Info

We are planning a 3-4 day trip on the Upper Potomac early this fall and I am wondering if there is anyone out there that has info on this trip. I have heard that the Cumberland to Hancock section is great so I will probably shoot for that. If anyone can offer any advise or suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

I know very little about the Potomac so as you can see I have a few questions:

Where are the best parts of the river to camp? Is there a good place to put in at Cumberlin and likewise a good place to take out in Hancock? Any info on liverly services? Are there any parts of the Upper Potomac to avoid due to portages?

Thanks for your help


Still no info on the Potomac? Is this not a good trip? I did talk to an outfitter in Little Orleans and he said water levels are low. Any info on this??


C&O canal
Maybe you can do the C&O canal. Not sure if you will have to portage over the locks or even how that works, but I know people that have bike camped along the canal path and there are a few campsites along the way that you could use.

upper ptomac
a nice cruise at the right water level, which may or may not be when you go. A few riffles, not much more. Camping is generally easy, with the c&o canal along the md shore - get a canal map that has the camping areas marked. Forget about paddling the canal - its dry, except for limited stretches.

The C & O Canal does not have
water in it, except for a short section at Oldtown, MD, and near DC. The Canal parallels the river all the way to DC, stays on the river most of the way. The National Park Service has a lot of “hiker/biker” campsites along the Towpath.

Some general info
I’ve never canoed on the upper portion but here is some info. On the C&O, there are hiker/biker campsites every 5 miles or so. This link has a good description of the bike side.


Here are some maps you can order about it from Maryland…


I do remember reading a story about 2 guys who canoed the from the upper reaches down to Georgetown, but could not find that link.

Have fun, John