Canoeing — Potomac River


The Potomac along the WV eastern panhandles northern boarder includes 100 miles of class A-I water. This is one of the few consistantly canoable rivers within a few hours of Morgantown. The large volume and low gradient allows for canoeing all year round. There are some class I rapids that at high water can be very dangerous due to the size of this river. There are also a number of dams along this stretch that will need to be portaged. Put-in/Take-out options include Town Creek, Paw Paw, Paw Paw Tunnel, Bonds Landing, Stickpile Hill Campsite, Devils Alley Campsite, Little Orleans, Cacapon Junction Campsite, Cohill Station Canoe Access, Leopards Mill Campsite, White Rock Campsite, C&O Canal Visitors Center in Hancock, MD, Little Pool Campsite, Sleepy Creek Bridge, Cherry Run Boat Ramp, Fort Frederick State Park, McCoys Ferry, Four Locks, Williamsport, Cumberland Valley, Big Slackwater, Taylors Landing, Horseshoe Bend, Snyders Landing, Killiansburg Cave and Shepardstown. The Upper Potomac R. Water Trail maps (available through Maraland DNR are a valuable resource for canoeing this river. The ORC has a set that can be borrowed.

Directions from Morgantown

Take I 68 east to Cumberland (exit 43b). Go south on SR 51 for 14.5 miles to Old Town. You will have to get the directions on your own for the rest of the put-in and take-out spots (see Gazateer Maps).

Travel Time:1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hr


Fishing, Canoeing, Bicycling, Camping

ORC Resources:

Book- A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to West Virginia

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