Skip to main content

River Access, Hazard and Incident Reports

C&O Canal - et elsewhere - Access Projects
Alford Cooley

C&O – ACCESS PROJECTS – 20x -            PRIORITY in Red           15 Jan 2018

      This set of problems affects access to the River (the Potomac in almost all cases), most of which we've been dealing with over the years.   We suggest a longer term and consistent response to them.   Presented at the CCA board-meeting (10 Sept 2017) – Access Committee formed 12 Nov 2017.

First is a list, then the items in detail.
/

LIST

1 - Rewatering the Lock 4-5 Reach:  Coffer Dam*

2 - Fletchers Take-Out - Improve

3 – Little Falls – Dalecarlia Take Out – Improve*

4 - Lock 10 Take-Out *

5 - Carderock Take-Out*

6 – Anglers Put-In – Improve Steps
6.5 - Rewater Level 16

7 - Swains Lock Take-Out - Improve

8 - C&O / GW Loop - Rewater Pennyfield Level

9 - GW Loop: C&O Crossing - Improve

10 – Violettes Lock Put-In – Improve 

10.5 – Rileys Lock Put-In - Monitor

11 - Continuing Trump/USCG river blockages - working w/ the USCG on implementation *

12 - Anglers Put-In – Roll Back Parking Prohibition along MacArthur *

13 - Harpers Ferry Access - New Developments*

14 - Goose Creek - Press for a Put-In*

15 – Warning signs for bikes “Kayak Crossing” at 2, 3, 4, 6, 9

16 – Recover permission to put in at Roosevelt Island for the 4th of July paddle.

17 – Lock 34 Parking

18 – Md-side Parking at top of the Needles

19 – Patoma Wayside Winter Parking

20 – Antietam Ck Mouth T.O.

DETAILS with Suggestions, pending on-site inspection

1 – Rewater the Canal – Lock 4-5 Reach - This is proceeding glacially - a coffer dam is needed more than ever.  Get NPS to put in two very low dams - 2 ft deep water would do.  Disproportion of spending for the Georgetown Canal Boat – nothing for boaters, fishers.
/

2 – Fletchers - Build-up the waterside T.O. spot with gravel.  Broaden trail by the water, remove one log. 
/

3 – Little Falls – Dalecarlia – Dig out the low level exit bayou and build steps and a slanted stone drag-ramp at the end.
/

4Lock 10 - T.O. used to be well stabilized with spongy stuff secured by black plastic snow-fence.  The upstream side is now gone and erosion is setting in - slippery, too.  Equities for Cabin John Rescue Squad.
/

5 - Carderock - T.O. before Stubblefield Falls.  We have a preferred location.  Big job.
/

6 – Anglers - Put-In – Above the Canal -   Access is mediocre, the path becomes a stream in wet weather; the existing timber steps become more treacherous yearly.  Consider the disproportionately expensive stone bridge at the foot of these steps.  Also, erosion down the road.
/
6.5 - Level 16 Refilled, Build path up from Widewater to Lock 15, Repair path & steps from Lock 17 to Sandy Beach. 
/

7 - Swains – PI/TO is eroded, needs stabilizing – stone or concrete.
/

8 - Pennyfield Lock - Though the lock-wickets are closed. the waste-weir is open, lowering the water level on the Canal up to Violettes to a trickle. 
/

9 - GW Canal Loop/ C&O Canal Transfer – Mile 21/Blockhouse Point - The towpath is being abraded on both sides by us boaters.
/

10 Violettes – P.I is difficult – esp for handicapped.  Tree roots are being exposed as paddlers clamber over them on several different routes.  Moving the rocks in the water a few feet would make the put-in far easier.   This put-in is used by TRR and kayaking schools and CCA beginner paddlers.
/

10.5 – Rileys Lock Put-In – Monitor – This Md DNR put in is ideal – nothing needed, but keep watch.  With Calleva there, any deleterious change will be instantly noticed – and opposed.
/

11 Trump Prohibition – CCA’s Sunday Paddles cross the Po almost every Sunday and now have a USCG number to call (410) 576-2525 that works well.  This info shd be posted at Violettes so the unaware not run into the USCG and spoil their day.  The USCG are (not always) enforcing a total river ban.  We need to show the USSS / USCG how kayaks are not the problem.  The USCG has yet to announce its final ruling. 
/

12 - The MacArthur parking prohibition near Anglers Inn is a crap-shoot - who'll be nailed on which day?  This is not how law enforcement should work.  This opportunity for mobilizing people parked there - handbills on windshields, talking with the Montgomery Co groups, etc.
/

13 - AW's HF Access project is dead in the water.  But 2 new short term fixes:  for the Needles: MCC has a deal with River Runners so members can go for free. (Should CCA do a similar?)  Also for the Staircase: Adventure Rec Center (below the 340 bridge) will drive you up to Millville for $5 after your run.  At the Weverton T.O get NPS to remove 3 downed trees across the trail. 
/

 14 - Goose Creek has been shut down 16 years - need to go after the new owners of the dam - Loudoun Water - to hurry up permissions.  Go see the planned P.I.
/

15 – Warning signs for bikes [and boaters] at “Kayak Crossings” at 2, 3, 4, 6, 9 - Should show a kayak being carried – say “SLOW – RING BELL.”  Too many bicyclists are zoned out, don’t realize the danger of hitting blinded kayakers, who sometimes have children along, crossing the towpath.  Same applies for us boaters coming to the towpath.
/

16 – Reopen Teddy Roosevelt P.I. for the Fourth of July – CCA used to launch there – now no longer – Why?
/

17 – Lock 34 Parking – this has been blocked by the CSX or by the Canal – unclear – HFOF’s Mike Moore of HFOF will provide photos.
/

18 – Maryland-side Parking – at top of the Needles – overrun by tubers in summer – Outfitters have a monopoly – need photos
/

19 – Patoma Wayside Winter Parking – This should be open to all (not just outfitters) after high season (1. Nov to mid April).  Change the signs.
/

20 – Antietam Ck Mouth T.O. – muddy after rain, thaw.  Place stone steps from riverside up the bank – 100 yds upstream.

 For all of this we need people, volunteers and advice.   Sep 22, rev Oct 15. 31, N 15, 18 2017   Presented at 10 Oct CCA Bd Mtg. , 15 Jan TRR, posted on Website : Nov 15, 2017, Jan 15, 21 2018