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TC Stream Sheet - Staircase
Alford Cooley

TRIP COORDINATOR’S STREAM SHEET  STAIRCASE (Shenandoah at Harpers Ferry) – 13 July 2021

Day Trip - Beltway – Paddle – Beltway = 7 hours

Thumbnail   3,058 sq mi, 12(20) fpm, Class II (II+) – Whitehorse Rapid: 9,500 sq mi - 5 mi to Potoma Wayside T.O., 5.5 miles to Weverton, which includes Heron Rookery Island on right, after the US 340 bridge.

Approach – from Beltway – NW on I-270 to Frederick, SW to Harpers Ferry on US 340 – 1 hour, ALT: out River Road, to MD 28 to Pt of Rocks – US 15 then 464 to Brunswick then 478 to US 340 at Knoxville – rural, lovely

VA Alternative – out VA 7, connect with VA 9, then VA 671 to US 340/ Potoma Wayside - rural

Main Features – Flat 1½ miles, then shallow, extended Entrance Rapid, Bull Falls, choose 3d slot from left (II+), check other slots for wood jammed below initial sight-line. Then the Bulls Tail (II) with the Round the Mountain route. At 4 ft up, one can use the right side Back Channel. Then Lunch Stop on river right by the little waterfall (careful on slippery rocks) In cold weather lunch is warmer on river right beach. Then the classic diagonal Staircase ledges, visible from the new US 340 bridge.  At lower levels, stay right, switching to left after the bridge. Fine surfing at Virginius Mill (Triple Arch) Rapid, then flat water into Harpers Ferry (exit over the beach is prohibited). Confluence with the Potomac and Whitehorse Rapid (Cl. II+, III)

Meeting Place – at Guide House Grill (ex Cindy Dee’s, Lowry’s) Restaurant:  39.330, -77.7019, in Knoxville, MD near the Weverton and Potoma T.O.s.  For Weverton, continue downstream one mile on Keep Tryst Rd.  Consolidate gear into upstream/ downstream cars  -

Take-Outs Potoma Wayside VA, Steep trail up from river, limited parking, no facilities. 39.328, -77.6847 or Weverton MD at the mouth of Israel Ck and just above Weverton Rapids. 100 yard carry to the autos. No facilities, but good woods   39.328, -77.6847 

Shuttle – Drive up US 340 beyond Bolivar Heights – at foot of hill, go left at Millville Rd, through Millville, cross RR, then left to River and Trail’s put-in – 39.290, -77.789 - Fee charged per vehicle. No charge in off season and some weekdays. Portable toilet

Nearby Streams:  Needles section of the Potomac on other side of Harpers Ferry, Antietam Ck

Gauges – Millville USGS is just a mile upstream. For volume at Whitehorse Rapid on the combined Potomac/Shenandoah, see Point of Rocks gauge downstream. – Zero: 1,000 cfs/ 2.1 ft for a clean run.  Paddle Shop – River and Trail – across US 340 from Guide House Grill meeting point  ; ice cream at Rocky Point Creamery, Tuscarora MD on MD 28

Guidebooks – Grove, p. 162,    Ettinger, p. 325,   Matacia & Cecil, p. 136

Map – see CCA Website: ccadc.org - > Newsletters> Document Library> Maps. Ron Canter

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