your paddlesports destination

Antietam Creek in Maryland

Trip Overview

After doing much research as possible we planned to launch from Funkstown. None of us knew anything about this creek so it was exciting for us all. It started great for the 1st mile then we came to a downed tree, the only way around was out and over. From then on at least every mile there seemed to be an obstacle but in all we had a good time.

We saw some interesting sites: Old buildings, some swing ropes and slides at a camp and what was baffling was 4 tents we saw set up on the river that were abandoned. That was puzzling, we moved on.

So being March 5th, the water was surprisingly warm, the weather was about 60-65. So 2 miles into the river we come to a small bridge, it was a class 2 flowing under it, our lead makes the 1st attempt, success! His brother makes an attempt, he flipped and then I try, flipped, our other 2 friends decide to go around, smart move. So we drain the boats, repack gear, laugh and move on.

Pretty much with 10 miles my boat was dragging in different spots, I am a 260lb guy, I had more gear than I needed on my boat (Mad River Synergy 12) Later on down the river our lead got stuck on some rocks and there he went, soaked head to toe, twice, too funny.

So it's getting near dark and the 2 of us head down river to scope a campsite, we find a good open spot on the right, we knew Devils Backbone was a mile or so away. So the rest of the guys come down and we drain gear, organize, set up tents, make a fire, etc.... later in the evening, our friend looks at his phone map and realize we are close to a correction facility and was wondering if we were on their property. Of course we told prison break jokes but we had no choice but to stay.

So, now it's 1am, everyone is in their tents, I can hear the river but I can also hear something walking thru the woods, so I turned off my iPod and I'm real still, real quite and I can hear the steps getting closer. I kid you not, something was in the camp, close to my tent, breathing like in deeply inhaled something and I started screaming "get out of hear" several times (this is no lie) 2 out of the 5 wake up and like WTF - I said you didn't hear that coming thru the woods?? The next morning my friend said, man you scared the piss out of me, I hear something too - I slid under my sleeping bag and just kept as quiet as I could, then you were screaming I almost freaked. We were all laughing.

Sunday morning it rained and rained and rained, when we got to Devils Backbone we called our ride and gave up. So DB lower section will be on our list this summer. So, in all I would say the upper part of Antietam was so-so, if you're looking for more easy boating don't float in the upper 1/2.


American Legion Parking lot - you can't leave your vehicle there, it is a private lot

No camping spots unless you get to the open field on your right which is 9 miles down




West Poplar St & Rt 40


Just the GPS and printable from

  • Skill Level: Advanced
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip