Whitewater — South Branch of the Potomac(Smoke Hole Picnic Area to Petersburg)

Canoeing Smoke Hole Canyon


This is a classic float/fishing trip in a long beautiful canyon that features massive rock formations and great camping spots. The rapids are consistant class I-II with a couple class II +. Keep an eye out for eagles here as well. Map 1 Map 2 Map 3 (pdf).

Directions from Morgantown

Take I-68 E to Rt. 42 S at Friendsville, MD. Follow Rt. 42 S until it intersects with Rt. 219 S at McHenry, MD. Stay on Rt. 219 S through Oakland, MD to Rt. 50 E. Take Rt. 50 E to Rt. 42 S at Mt Storm. Go 13.5 miles to Petersburg. The take out is at a public river access site on the north side of the 220 bridge. To get to the put-in’s, take 220 south for about 16 miles to Smoke Hole Rd (cr 2). Follow this road for 5-10 miles along the river to many put-in alternatives. Put-in at the picnic area bridge makes this a 21 mile run, while put-in at Big Bend Campground makes it about a 15 mile trip.

Travel Time:

3 hr


Whitewater , Fishing, Canoeing, Camping





Web resources:


ORC Resources:

Book ” A Canoeing and Kayaking Guide to West Virginia”

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