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 art of the Monocacy Scenic River Water Trail guideMonocacy Scenic River Water Trail
    (Frederick County)

    This map and guide provides information on water access sites, facilities, and cultural and historic information along 41.8 miles of the Monocacy Scenic River, from Rocky Ridge on Maryland Rt. 77 to the Potomac River. This colorful guide is printed on waterproof, tear proof paper and was designed primarily for those touring by kayak or canoe. The water trail has been divided into three segments which allows visitors to make their trips shorter or longer according to their time and ability.

    The Monocacy Scenic River Water Trail map is available by request or download from the Frederick County Division of Parks and recreation. Visit their web site at http://www.recreater.com/292/Monocacy-Scenic-Water-Trail-Map or call 301-600-1646. This map is available through the DNR Outdoor Store at
    http://shopdnr.com/watertrails.aspx

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

    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. This map set is available through the DNR Outdoor Store at
    http://shopdnr.com/watertrails.aspx


  • 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)

    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. This map is available through the DNR Outdoor Store at http://shopdnr.com/watertrails.aspx. Additional information on attractions and public access along this section of the C&O Canal can be found at the National Park Service website.    

  • Potomac River Water Trail and the C&O Canal: (Middle Potomac) 
    (Washington, Frederick, and Montgomery counties)
    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.
    This map set was created by the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin in the 1970s but is no longer available in print, but electronic versions of these maps can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here. Additional information about this area can be found at the National Park Service website at http://www.nps.gov/choh/index.htm

  • Youghiogheny Wild and Scenic River
    (Garrett County)

    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. To learn more about the Youghiogheny River cheeck out their website.

Online Services


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