Office of Communications

WESTERN MARYLAND

(Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties)


Western Maryland is characterized by its mountainous terrain, rolling hills, steep cliffs and large blocks of forested land. In this area of the state, paddlers can find slowly meandering creeks that are appropriate for fishing and floating, as well as Class V whitewater for more experienced paddling. Waterways in this part of the state are typically freshwater, rocky, and shallow and are significantly influenced by periods of drought and/or rain events. Deep Creek Lake, the Youghiogheny, Savage, North Branch Potomac and Upper Potomac rivers are among the major waterways that attract recreational boaters to the region.


  • Cover of Potomac River Water Trail - The North Branch Potomac River Water Trail: The North Branch
    (Allegany County) (Existing)

    The Potomac River Water Trail: the North Branch details the northern reaches of the Potomac River in Allegany County, Maryland between Westernport and Cumberland. The area is depicted on three separate maps covering approximately 32 miles. This water trail was developed through a partnership between the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the National Park Service (NPS), Allegany County and others. The maps show access points on both sides of the river including information on support facilities like restrooms, camping and fishing sites, and picnic and parking areas. The maps are printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper and are packaged in a zip closure plastic pouch. To receive a printed copy send an e-mail request to lgutierrez@dnr.state.md.us with “Map Request - North Branch Potomac” noted in the subject line and include your name, complete mailing address, email, and phone number. Please note there is a limit of one copy of this map per customer.


  • Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal: (Upper Potomac) Cover of Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal - Upper Potomac
    (Allegany County and Washington County) (Existing)

    This water trail guide details approximately 115 miles of the Upper Potomac River corridor and parallels the C&O Canal National Historic Park between Shepherdstown, WV and Cumberland, MD and picks up where the Potomac River Water Trail: the North Branch map set leaves off. The five-map set shows access and support facilities along both sides of the river and is an invaluable resource for paddlers, boaters, anglers or outdoor enthusiasts interested in the area. The maps are printed on waterproof, tear-proof paper and are packaged in a zip closure plastic pouch. Purchase this map from the DNR Online Store by clicking this link or download and fill out an order form and return it with a check or money order by clicking this link. Additional information on attractions and public access along this section of the C&O Canal can be found at www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm.

  • Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal: (Middle Potomac)
    (Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery counties) (Existing and Developing)
    Cover of Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal - Middle Potomac

    This water trail spans approximately 100 miles of the Middle Potomac River corridor and parallels the C&O Canal National Historic Park between Sharpsburg, MD and Washington D.C. This map set picks up where the Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal: Upper Potomac map set leaves off. Maryland DNR is working in partnership with the C&O Canal National Historical Park and many other state and local agencies that have a presence along this section of the river in Virginia and Maryland, to create a new water trail map set for this portion of the river. An earlier map set for this section of the Potomac River Water Trail was created by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin in the 1970s but is no longer available. Like the other Potomac River Water Trail map sets, the new maps will show access points on both sides of the river and include information on support facilities like restrooms, hiker-biker sites, fishing, picnic and parking areas. The maps will also feature historic, cultural and natural resource information. Preliminary planning and map updates have begun. The new maps are not yet available. Additional area information can be found at www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm. Click here to view or download an electronic version of the guide.


  • Antietam Creek Water Trail
    (Washington County) (Developing)

    Maryland DNR began working with partners in Washington County and the Antietam Creek Watershed Alliance in 2009. This project is still conceptual and no official planning or agreements have been completed. The area of interest is the entire creek from the Pennsylvania line to the Potomac River.


  • Youghiogheny Wild and Scenic River
    (Garrett County) (Developing)

    Kayaks paddling by a bridge in western Maryland

    In 1976 a 21-mile long segment of the Youghiogheny was designated as Maryland’s first Wild River. A state protected corridor along the river runs from Miller’s Run just north of Oakland to the Town of Friendsville. This corridor is managed by the Maryland Forest and Park Service. There is no official map or guide to public access on the Youghiogheny River in Maryland, but public access points can be found at Swallow Falls State Park, in the Sang Run area off of Sang Run Road, and in Friendsville. Hikers can hike several miles upstream. Hoyes Run area is also a public access point for hiking, and fly fishing (catch and release only). Hikers can walk from Hoyes to the Sang Run put in. Other points of access are primarily primitive and rugged, and every effort should be taken by users to be familiar with the skills needed to safely enjoy the remote and primitive environment of the river. Whitewater boating has become an increasingly popular way for many to experience the wildness of the Youghiogheny. The river is extremely difficult and potentially dangerous and must be treated with respect. Information on whitewater boating may be obtained at the park office. General park information can be obtained at 301-387-5563. For more information on the Youghiogheny River in Maryland visit http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/youghiogheny.asp


  • Monocacy River Water Trail
    (Frederick County) (Developing)

    Kayaks paddling along the river in central Maryland

    Maryland DNR is working in partnership with the Frederick County Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a water trails guide that focuses on public waterway access sites and paddling routes along the Monocacy River in Frederick County. Connections to the Monocacy Battlfield Park and Potomac River at the Monocacy Aqueduct are among the many sites that will be featured. Planning and mapping for this project began in 2009 and are still in progress. Final maps are not yet available but are in development.


Chesapeake Bay Hotline

Call 1-877-224-7229

to report any of the following

  • Boating accident or reckless activity
  • Fish kill or algal bloom
  • Floating debris that poses a hazard to navigation
  • Illegal fishing activity
  • Public sewer leak or overflow
  • Oil or hazardous material spill
  • Critical area or wetlands violation
  • Suspicious or unusual activity