TRIP COORDINATOR’S STREAM SHEET MATHER GORGE –
Two Maps at ccadc.org - > Newsletters > Document Library > Maps >
Potomac_Rocky_to_Brookmont and Potomac_Great_Falls [please read all the small print]
General - Just below Great Falls to Anglers Inn, Carderock, or Lock 10; 2 hours OTR – 5 hours total Difficulty in the top Gorge: at 2.5 ft – 3.2 Class II-III at 3.2 ft – 4.5 Class III Two miles to Anglers Inn take-out, another 1½ mi to Carderock, another 3 mi to Lock 10 take-out
Put-in: From Gt Falls Park VA - lower down steep rockpile at Fishermans Eddy – bring long ropes – entering the Po here allows play in the turbulent O-Deck Rapids - - (or)
from Gt Falls Park MD - carry/wheel boats ¼ mile down the towpath to Lock 17 and the steps down to Sandy Beach/Catfish Cove (Enter park with pass or payment - charged per vehicle). The MD side is preferred because of ease of shuttle (not looping over the Beltway Bridge).
Main Features – O-Deck Rapids, Fishladder Rapids, S-Turn, Wet Bottom Chute (Cl. II), Difficult Run Rapids/the Chutes (MD, Center, VA, all Cl. II) Take-out at [Anglers],
Beyond Anglers: Offutts Rapid (Cl. II) (or the Teacups), Yellow Falls (Cl. II) (or Calico Rapid). [Carderock], Stubblefield Falls (Cl.II), Beltway Bridge, [Lock 10, where most trips exit], [Lock 8] (Grove’s book is packed with all the details.) Lunch and play at Offutts or Yellow Falls.
Attaining - One can attain from Sycamore Island up to 50 yards beyond Fishladder – at different (generally low) water levels. The most difficult rises are at Difficult Run Rapid’s Center Chute and Wet Bottom Rapid.
Gauge: Little Falls “Leiter Gauge” is at Brookmont Dam, 10 miles downstream. Small water fluctuations at this ¼ mile wide structure are magnified in the narrow Gorge. From Sandy Beach the following channels out of Catfish Hole (not for novices) become navigable at:
4.0 ft – Right Channel - drops into S Turn – at lower levels, you can drag boats into the main Po
3.9 ft – left (Maryland) Channel (Cl. 3) 4.1 – Middle Channel – a 4-foot drop (Cl. 3)
Levels above 5.5 ft – Put in downstream from Mary’s Wall into Rocky Cove. Rugged terrain.
Zero – With a 11,560 mi2 basin & several back-up reservoirs, the Potomac will never run dry.
500 cfs, says Ettinger, is where it gets bony.
Guidebooks – Ettinger, p. 181; Gertler, p. 43; Grove, p. 123; Corbett, p. 60; Carter, p. 120
CAVEAT – Please familiarize yourself with the CCA Trip Guidelines at https://canoecruisers.clubexpress.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=394800&module_id=223946 Playspots http://www.monocacycanoe.org/PotomacPlayspotsGuide.htm