ABOUT ANTIETAM CREEK :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antietam_Creek Antietam is a gentle stretch of intimate cold water creek (browns and Rainbows!) steeped in significant history and blessed with Mother Nature's best foot forward. The scenery is beautiful, water clear, clean, cold and generally shallow. Fun to paddle, swim, fish and fiddle around.
Antietam is a class I - II creek which means that, at normal water levels, a boater needs some skill and boat control in moving water to avoid hazards. It should not be attempted by un-shepherded beginners. (Lots of rocks, twists, turns, bridges, strainers, riffles and rapids as well as flat water in the 22 miles of creek that we paddle.)
Antietam, largely ground water fed, holds it water well and is generally canoeable year round, drought conditions excepted. The creek drops at a rate of about 7 feet per mile and carries about 300cfs. At flood it can carry as much as 12,000cfs. The creek becomes progressively more dangerous as water levels rise and like most creeks can be lethal when the water is in the trees along the lowest of it's banks.
Antietam Creek at Burnside Bridge Gauge [sometimes referred to as "the Sharpsburg gauge"] .... Lower section, Antietam Creek is a Class 1ish rec-boat run from 2.5 Feet up to about 3.5. AT which point it takes on a class 2ish look and feel. At 5 to 6 feet [about 1800 - 2800 CFS] Low bank trees are in the water; the creek picks up speed, and unavoidable parts of it become honest WW outfitted boat runs for intermediate paddlers; drops and bends are more pushy and there is a real danger of strainers with fast current that are difficult to avoid [strainers are on the creek at all levels] The creek is out of it's banks in low areas at 5-8 feet; is in flood and probably should be avoided by most.
With the exception of Antietam Battlefield, Devil's Backbone Park and the C & O Canal Park Area. The Banks of Antietam Creek are PRIVATE PROPERTY. It is important, when we use the Creek, to keep in mind that we are in someone else's yard without permission. We must understand that we are little different than a stranger taking a shortcut across YOUR LAWN, and act accordingly.
The gauge, map and reality check links here, will get you to more than you ever wanted to know about Antietam Creek
Ice Cold Waterfall and fun rapid at the top of the Battlefield. Near HQ
Nice old cow named Harriot, ankle deep below the Keedysville [or "upper"] Bridge
Another Photo Op. Bring Biodegradable Soap and a Norwegian constutation if you want to take advantage of natures way........
Two Goose Island "stop to eat spot" 20 Minutes past Manor Church road Bridge
I'm not saying we can get a spread like this up on any given Saturday... but if you bring the food and bevs we'll help you with the whole process.....
Much to the disapproval of the Chesepeak Bay Foundation folks and others, we have a little trouble keeping cows, critters and farm runoff out of Antietam [and Beaver] Creek. They've been using it for the last 200 years and it's slow, hard and expensive to change old habits. Cities seem to have the same problem with their effluent excesses and excuses trying to keep taxes and performance low and votes high.
Yes we do weddings and all sorts of other special events
The Picture says it all!!! Except that we tied a string of beer cans [NATIONAL BO] to make the whole thing official....Great Day.