A Quick Guide to Kayaking the Monocacy


I decided to go kayaking down the Monocacy river (around Frederick, MD) last weekend. I was a bit worried about finding a place to park and having to sneak through people’s yards to get into the river ;-)

But driving along the river I discovered that some local government service or other group has provided parking and river access points (boat ramps) about every 5 miles along the river! Very impressive.
Monocacy River Access Point 6

I took some pictures of the sign they had up detailing the access point locations:

Monocacy River Water Trail Map of access points
Monocacy River Water Trail

I also found it online later here.

NOTE: When planning your trip the sign notes warns to check the river depth first:

To start a canoe/Kayak trip:
From the MD 77 Bridge (Points 1-3 on map), the U.S. Geological Survey gauge at Jug Bridge in Frederick should read 350 cubic feet per second (cps) or show a water level of at least 2.1 feet.
From Devilbiss Bridge and below (Points 4-20), the gauge should read at least 215 cfs or 1.7 feet.

You can find live data for this gauge here.

A review of the trip:

We went about 5 miles down-river. Starting at access point 6 and ending at access point 11. The river was very calm, I would think anyone could handle it. It was shallow enough at two points that I had to walk to the kayak about 50 feet. It was fairly scenic but with mostly trees along the river the whole way. It would have been a bit nicer to see mountain views and such.

You’ll need a kayak first obviously. You can actually order a kayak from Amazon. Give it a try.

Here are some other resources for kayaking the Monocacy river:
Explore Maryland’s Water Trails
Monocacy river conservation group
Monocacy River Water Trail – Frederick and Carroll Counties, Maryland
Monocacy river paddle trips?

[tags]Monocacy, River, Trail, water trail, kayaking, canoeing, Frederick, Maryland, MD[/tags]

3 Responses to “A Quick Guide to Kayaking the Monocacy”

  1. Nathan says:

    I was wandering what the water conditions were like on your trip and how the float trip would be in a 12 foot john boat. Also how long does it normally take to float the trip you took (from point 6 -11). Thanks

  2. riverainstruments says:

    I’ve done this same trip and it took us a bit over 4 hrs fishing it :-)

  3. Colin says:

    How was the water quality for your trip? Was it murky or muddy? Or did it tend to be fairly clear?