A step up from the Shenandoah / Potomac River raft trip is the Potomac’s North Branch guided tour. Dam releases from Jennings Randolph Dam near Keyser, West Virginia and Bloomington, Maryland provide for optimum levels of whitewater rafting.
Great Getaway to Western Maryland
This trip, only three hours from the Washington DC area, is nestled in the heart of the Potomac Highlands, making for a fantastic day, overnight, or weekend getaway. Rapids are continuous Class II-III+ , and the high water volumes and steeper gradient of the North Branch create waves and rollers up to six feet high. Sections of calm water permit cliff-jumping, relaxation, and swimming. Experienced guides navigate each raft along the scenic seven mile raft trip from Barnum to Bloomington.
All-inclusive Rafting Adventure
Our all-inclusive rafting adventure features:
a delicious barbeque overlooking Jennings-Randolph Lake
guide in each raft
shuttle to and from the river
lifejacket, paddle, helmet
wetsuits (needed on most trips!)
Our guides live for this remote and rockin’ white water rafting journey…Join them!
For those who want to make a getaway or mini vacation of the trip…check out the Camping & Lodging link just below. Frostburg, Maryland is a lively university town featuring a mainstreet with shops, bars, and restaurants.
““Wanted to thank you for our North Branch trip…Greg was an excellent guide, the Potomac was awesome and the post-river cookout was first rate to say the least. Your staff is a great group of people that made this an incredible experience…”
Pricing & Minimum Age:
Special Rate: $129/person for two runs!
Includes lakeview cookout, guide in each raft, shuttle, and equipment. Wetsuit included if needed.
*Add 5% amusement fee + $2.00 user fee
Groups of 10-24 receive $5 off /person for one run when paying collectively.
Groups of 25+ receive $6 off /person when paying collectively.
Required Minimum Age: 10 yrs old
The Dam Release Dates are as follows. Click on individual dates to book on-line.
|9am & 1pm||11:30am|
Length of trip: 2.5 hrs. on the river plus a barbeque picnic overlooking Randolph Jennings Lake
Picnic is served between the afternoon and morning trips on Saturday at a park pavilion. On Sunday trips lunch is served before going on the river.
Departure time: 9:00 am & 1:00 pm departure on Saturdays, 11:30 am on Sundays
Wetsuits are usually needed dependent upon weather and water temperature. Included
|How to Dress:|
Most likely you will need a wetsuit for this trip due to the cooler temperatures of dam release waters. When making your reservation, please provide us with your height, weight, and T shirt size. If the temperatures are in the mid 70s or above and you do not need a wetsuit, we suggest you wear the following:
*Remember no flip flops, or COTTON
We will meet participants promptly at HALF AN HOUR BEFORE THEIR TRIP TIME at the Howell Run picnic area at Jennings Randolph Lake. This area is about a three and a half hour drive from the Baltimore/Washington Metro area. For clients choosing the convenience of arriving the night before the trip or staying the weekend modern camping, cabins, and motel facilities are available in the area. For the budget-minded traveler, the North Branch is also conveniently located near the Eastern Maryland Correctional Facility providing guests with three squares and a cot with razor wire views.
|From Baltimore / Washington D.C.|
Take 70W to Hancock (or take 270N to get to 70W)
Take 68W to Cumberland.
Near Frostburg, exit onto 36 S at exit # 34. Continue on 36 to Westernport. In Westernport turn R onto Church Rd. (135 W). Follow 135 W into Luke. In Luke turn L onto Masteller Rd (Rt 46). Stay on 46 for approximately 5 miles or so and turn right at the sign for Shaw Beach: Howell run Picnic Area entrance off of Jennings Randolf Rd (Jennings Randolph Lake). Go approximately one mile, following the signs that direct you to Howell Run picnic area. 39.415297, -79.122951.
*Before May 12th and after Oct 6th, someone will direct you on further to another area.
To find out how far away you are, the closest town to mapquest it to is Elk Garden, WV, although the directions above do not send you directly through the little town itself.
Take US 50W. Follow it into WV.
Take a right onto state highway 42 to Elk Garden.
Once in Elk Garden, bear right onto 46 at the split, follow signs to Jennings Randolph Lake and specifically, Howell Run Picnic area.
|Overnight Lodging Options for the North Branch Release weekend:|
Camping & Cabins
Luxury Cabins with Nearby Lodge
Hotels in La Vale
Hotels in Frostburg
*Frostburg is a University Town with a lively Main Street (for Western MD)
Hotels in Keyser, WV
River & Trail Outfitters | 604 Valley Road - Knoxville, MD 21758