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Earl Grey
06-21-2008, 10:31
What is the water situation like through MD right now?

Newb
06-23-2008, 07:26
You should have no problems. The spigot at Compton Gap works. The Rocky Run shelter spring is running, ther'es water. Just carry a lot of it because it's hot out there.

shoe
06-23-2008, 23:30
I just finished the Maryland section and had no problems whatsoever with water and I drink alot.

firemonkey
08-17-2008, 20:35
Just got finished with a section hike from the Md-Pa line to Harpers Ferry W Va, Water was great throughout Md. Nice and cold!!!!!!

d_dawg6969
10-18-2008, 16:17
In all the years that I was overseer at Rocky Run Shelter (86-98) that spring has never run dry. Also once heard while I was out there, that that was the best water this person had tasted since Vermont!

Toolshed
10-18-2008, 21:37
Did it this week, also.
Water was running at Garvey (Long Climb down, according to another who went down to the spring) Rocky Run was flowing nice (old site)
Plenty of water at Gaithland (tasted bleached) Crampton was Dry.
didn't stop at Pine Knob
Pogo Lower Spring was flowing Incredibly well.
No water from there til you get to Warner Gap Road just before Raven Rock road, Just N of MD77.
vCowell Shelter was dry (The spring at least, it had some muddy water in it but looked pretty bad.)

10-K
06-10-2009, 14:29
This is a pretty old thread but I'll be hiking the MD section this weekend - what's the water situation like at the present time (June 9, 2009)

CowHead
06-10-2009, 14:39
I was dayhiking there last weekend water water everywhere

veteran
06-10-2009, 21:37
There are five reliable piped water sources in Maryland:

1) Gathland Park, a frost-free spigot by the restrooms.

2) Dahlgren Camp, on the service road about 500' north of the actual camp. When the camp is open, showers and sinks are also available.

3) Washington Monument Park. The back of the maintenance building near the entrance has a spigot, and at the restrooms and water fountain. There's a hand pump well right in front of the Ranger's House in Washington Monument State Park... you'll walk right by it. If that's not functioning, there's another well a few 100 ft south next to the maintenance shack.

4) Wolfsville Rd. ranger's house. From the A.T., hike uphill (south) on Wolfsville Rd. 600'. Turn left onto gravel road. Find first house in 800', ranger's house with spigot on side. Available as long as Cowell Shelter spring is dry, which has been often.

5) Pen Mar County Park. Water fountain located at each of the picnic pavilions.

10-K
06-11-2009, 10:26
Thanks everyone. It's nice to not have to sweat for water, no pun intended.

Looks like it's raining pretty hard up that way today, tonight and into tomorrow with the weekend and early next week looking pretty good.

cvoso
10-12-2009, 03:47
Im doin a weekend hike on nov 13 from Wolfsville rd to hapers ferry how is the water situation on the part of the trail.....does it need t be filtered? this is my first time doing any part of the trail bear with me

salmonella
06-17-2011, 23:17
Does anyone have an update on the water situation through MD...Northern border of the state to Harper's Ferry? Do I need to bring a pump or is there enough safe drinking water available?

CowHead
06-19-2011, 07:59
Does anyone have an update on the water situation through MD...Northern border of the state to Harper's Ferry? Do I need to bring a pump or is there enough safe drinking water available?

I filter everything but tap water and maybe I should filter it like any open water source I rather be safe than sorry.

GoldenBear
08-21-2011, 18:19
I just finished a series of day hikes from Gathland State Park to Pen-Mar.

Water is available at all listed sites (faucets, creeks, springs), but unavailable anywhere else. "Intermittent" should be viewed as "dry." Crampton Gap Shelter, for example, had none, and there were no dribbling streams not listed in the guide books.

If you find water at a site, and think you will need it before the next designated source, you should most definitely fill up at that site. Do NOT count on an un-listed water source in Maryland at this time -- I didn't find a single one.

Captn
07-04-2013, 09:04
Old thread, but the song remains the same ... A friend and I are section hiking pen-mar to Happers Ferry in a couple of weeks and I wondered what the water situation is on the trail? Water only at shelters or are water sources plentiful thruout?

Midlife
09-26-2013, 15:06
I will be doing this same section in November. I was wondering if some of these sources get shut off in the fall or winter?

Lauriep
09-26-2013, 17:37
Conditions in a dryish November are typically as follows. I've listing only the listed water sources that might be problematic.

North to South:

Ensign Cowall Shelter - little or standing water only
Pine Knob Shelter - slow trickle or dry
Crampton Gap Shelter - dry

There are 3 frost-free spigots that have been installed by the Maryland DNR: Washington Monument, Dahlgren Backpacker Campground, Crampton Gap. Once one failed for a season before it was fixed. The showers/restrooms are shut down usually from sometime in October until April.

The other springs at shelters are generally quite reliable. Annapolis Rocks can be slow; Pogo Campsite is one of the most robust springs in Maryland.

Laurie P.
ATC

Midlife
09-26-2013, 19:26
Conditions in a dryish November are typically as follows. I've listing only the listed water sources that might be problematic.

North to South:

Ensign Cowall Shelter - little or standing water only
Pine Knob Shelter - slow trickle or dry
Crampton Gap Shelter - dry

There are 3 frost-free spigots that have been installed by the Maryland DNR: Washington Monument, Dahlgren Backpacker Campground, Crampton Gap. Once one failed for a season before it was fixed. The showers/restrooms are shut down usually from sometime in October until April.

The other springs at shelters are generally quite reliable. Annapolis Rocks can be slow; Pogo Campsite is one of the most robust springs in Maryland.

Laurie P.
ATC


Thanks for the quick reply. I will make sure to note them in my book. Warm regards.

thebrewguy
09-26-2013, 21:43
I did this section a year ago in Sept. Good water sources at most shelters except Raven Rocks. It's a really nice new shelter but the water source is almost half a mile across the trail and downhill. When I was there it hardly flowed. Easily spigot water at war correspondents monument and dahlgren

Mrs Baggins
09-27-2013, 05:05
Conditions in a dryish November are typically as follows. I've listing only the listed water sources that might be problematic.

North to South:

Ensign Cowall Shelter - little or standing water only
Pine Knob Shelter - slow trickle or dry
Crampton Gap Shelter - dry

There are 3 frost-free spigots that have been installed by the Maryland DNR: Washington Monument, Dahlgren Backpacker Campground, Crampton Gap. Once one failed for a season before it was fixed. The showers/restrooms are shut down usually from sometime in October until April.

The other springs at shelters are generally quite reliable. Annapolis Rocks can be slow; Pogo Campsite is one of the most robust springs in Maryland.

Laurie P.
ATC

And the Garvey shelter? 6 of us will be there in a couple of weeks.

QHShowoman
10-07-2013, 12:19
Doing the entire MD section SB next week ... looks like some of the water sources can get pretty low or stagnant.
Can I get by with Aqua Mira or am I better off with a filter?

Am planning to stay at Cowall, Pine Knob, Crampton Gap shelters.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

fins1838
10-07-2013, 14:33
Doing the entire MD section SB next week ... looks like some of the water sources can get pretty low or stagnant.
Can I get by with Aqua Mira or am I better off with a filter?

Am planning to stay at Cowall, Pine Knob, Crampton Gap shelters.

Any thoughts would be welcome.
The way its raining today, its not LACK of water you have to worry about.

QHShowoman
10-07-2013, 15:49
The way its raining today, its not LACK of water you have to worry about.

Hah! I was totally thinking the same thing after I posted and it started pissing down rain here in DC!!!

jetsgolfer
10-07-2013, 16:00
Hello all,

I, too, am looking to hike the lower part of Md. next weekend, ending in Harpers Ferry on Sunday. Made a call to the ATC and was told that the trail (last three miles or so) coming into Harpers Ferry was "closed". I asked if they were stationing people out there and prohibiting anyone on, but they just said "we are discouraging the use of the trail through our national parks."

Anyone recently been through Harpers Ferry since the shutdown and if so, did you feel like you were trespassing???

Thanks

QHShowoman
10-07-2013, 16:13
Read this on the AT Facebook page earlier today:


So impressed with what I witnessed at Harpers Ferry, WV over the weekend .. The townspeople rallied together to keep things going . They were on the streets passing out maps & welcoming guests & thanking each & every person for visiting Harpers Ferry despite the Shutdowns . The townspeople were taking shifts & directing visitors where to park or simply thanking hikers who continued their hikes through the town. Such a show of cohesion in the community & to all who had traveled to visit ...The conservancy was bombarded with questions & ph calls about people having to reroute section hikes etc & they were doing a spectacular job with smiling faces. Thank u People of Harpers Ferry, WV for creating a positive influence in the midst of government confusion !

jetsgolfer
10-07-2013, 16:22
Thanks for the reply...

The reason I called the ATC was just that, where to park my car, so I could get shuttled up the trail and hike into HF on Sunday. I had heard that I could park at the ATC, but the gentleman that I spoke to didn't make it sound like I could. I guess I will call one of the lodgings in town to inquire about parking there.

Midlife
10-14-2013, 12:57
Thanks for the reply...

The reason I called the ATC was just that, where to park my car, so I could get shuttled up the trail and hike into HF on Sunday. I had heard that I could park at the ATC, but the gentleman that I spoke to didn't make it sound like I could. I guess I will call one of the lodgings in town to inquire about parking there.

What did you come up with as far as the parking and shuttle situation? It appears that the hostiles close in October so I was wondering if the shuttles do to. I wanted to start in Harpers Ferry at the beginning of November and end in Pennmar, but I will need a ride back to Harpers. Any shuttles run that late?

MDSection12
10-14-2013, 13:16
Crampton Gap's spring is often dry, and was before this recent rain, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it still is even after the rain.

QHShowoman
10-14-2013, 13:21
Crampton Gap's spring is often dry, and was before this recent rain, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it still is even after the rain.

Thanks! Can I assume that the water source at Gathland S.P. will still be accessible, though?

Z Hiker
10-17-2013, 08:29
Staying at Rocky Run and Gathland this weekend. Anyone know if those springs are running? Thanks!

Z Hiker
10-17-2013, 09:27
Staying at Rocky Run and Gathland this weekend. Anyone know if those springs are running? Thanks!

Oops, not Gathland, Ed Garvey and Rocky Run. Thanks.

QHShowoman
10-21-2013, 04:42
Here's the update from my trip this past weekend (10/17-10/20):

Ensign Cowall - Spring running well, but it's a walled in spring and if you're not using a filter, you'll need to reach in pretty far back to dip out your water.

Pine Knob - Piped spring running well enough, but with a fair bit of sediment. Filter users will need some sort of receptacle to catch the water in before filtering, because the water runs directly back into the ground.

Crampton Gap - Spring was bone dry. You can get water at the restrooms across the street in Gathland State Park. Note that there is a trail that goes straight from the shelter to the parking lot. It's a little long, but saves you from having to go up and down that hill into the camping area.

jetsgolfer
10-21-2013, 17:03
Our hike went well October 11th-13th... Parked behind the ATC around 3:30 on Friday. Mark Cusic (very nice guy) shuttled us up to Washington Monument-hiked to Rocky Run Shelter. This spring was running but very little. Saturday hiked to Ed Garvey. This spring was running well, I just haven't seen any other comments on the distance and descent you have to cover to get to this spring (0.4 miles with a 380' descent and then back). Sunday hiked into HF to the car with no problems...

Lyte-w8-hyker
11-03-2013, 23:54
Any updates on the water. I'm thinking of doing the Md section over Veterans Day weekend.

QHShowoman
11-04-2013, 04:39
Spring running at Cowall shelter, but you'll need something to dip with, if you're not using a filter.

Pine Knob slow, but steady, with some sediment. It's piped, so if you use a filter, you'll need something to catch water with first since there's no sort of pool for the water to accumulate in.

Bone dry at Crampton Gap. You can get water at Gathland SP. There's a trail from the shelter to the parking lot - saves you from walking up and down the hill.

Studlintsean
11-04-2013, 09:43
Any updates on the water. I'm thinking of doing the Md section over Veterans Day weekend.

Ill keep an eye out for you. Ill be doing a 13 mile out and back on Saturday/ Sunday.

Studlintsean
11-08-2013, 09:52
Is water at the park north of US40 (can't recall the name) still available this time of year? how about Annapolis Rocks and Pogo campground? Thanks

Lyte-w8-hyker
11-08-2013, 12:10
I'm curious about that too. I had to postpone my trip till next week, wondering it these "frost free spigots" that the guide books and map keep metioning will even be on this time of year.

MDSection12
11-08-2013, 12:23
Is water at the park north of US40 (can't recall the name) still available this time of year? how about Annapolis Rocks and Pogo campground? Thanks
North of 40 is Pine Knob Shelter, I haven't been there in a few months but it is usually running well. I was at Annapolis Rocks last week and the spring was running well. Haven't been to Pogo in a month but that one is super reliable, in my experience.

Studlintsean
11-08-2013, 12:26
North of 40 is Pine Knob Shelter, I haven't been there in a few months but it is usually running well. I was at Annapolis Rocks last week and the spring was running well. Haven't been to Pogo in a month but that one is super reliable, in my experience.

Thanks a lot MDsection12.

Lyte-w8-hyker- I will try to hit all the water sources on my way by this weekend and report back Monday.

MDSection12
11-08-2013, 12:27
I'm curious about that too. I had to postpone my trip till next week, wondering it these "frost free spigots" that the guide books and map keep metioning will even be on this time of year.
All three of those mentioned are springs (unless Sean meant north of Alt 40, which is the Washington Monument park). I hike through MD often and the only spring that is intermittent is Crampton's Gap. As for spigots, I seem to recall Gathland, Dahlgren, and Washington Monument running over the winter... But I generally just use springs. Mountain water tastes better. :)

Lyte-w8-hyker
11-08-2013, 15:58
Thanks a lot MDsection12.

Lyte-w8-hyker- I will try to hit all the water sources on my way by this weekend and report back Monday.


Thanks a water report would be great?

Anyone know a shuttle that could take me from harpers ferry and drop me off at the Penn/Md state line?

Studlintsean
11-08-2013, 16:01
Thanks a water report would be great?

Anyone know a shuttle that could take me from harpers ferry and drop me off at the Penn/Md state line?

Many use the teahorse hostel. I have used Ken from the ATC shuttle list online and he has been great. He was also much cheaper than all of the other shuttlers I called.

Studlintsean
11-10-2013, 21:43
Hiked from Turners Gap to Ensign Cowell and back for roughly 30 mile out and back. Lots of folks on the trail. Water report for this section:

Washington Monument- Spigot water available still.
Pine Knob Shelter- piped spring running fine
Pogo Campground- didn't stop here but told water available
Ensign Cowell- water plentiful in box spring. I was able to dip with the bottom of a water bottle and use drops.

I was also told the water at Raven Rock (at old shelter) is plentiful.

Enjoy the trip.

Lyte-w8-hyker
11-10-2013, 22:59
Hiked from Turners Gap to Ensign Cowell and back for roughly 30 mile out and back. Lots of folks on the trail. Water report for this section:

Washington Monument- Spigot water available still.
Pine Knob Shelter- piped spring running fine
Pogo Campground- didn't stop here but told water available
Ensign Cowell- water plentiful in box spring. I was able to dip with the bottom of a water bottle and use drops.

I was also told the water at Raven Rock (at old shelter) is plentiful.

Enjoy the trip.


Thanks a lot, can't wait to knock out Maryland next week!

JohnThe Snail
08-06-2016, 20:48
My daughter and I are planning a section hike starting in MD next week so it seems like a good time to revisit this thread. Anyone know what the current water situation is in MD and south PA? Thanks for any help.

Don H
08-07-2016, 08:34
As previously posted in this thread: http://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/119729-Maryland-in-October?p=2078175&highlight=#post2078175


Yes, water sources can get scarce around here after a dry summer. However, in Maryland you can hit a municipal water source about every 10 miles. So with a little planning you won't even need to treat water.

Public water sources SOBO from the MD/PA line:

1226.3 Penman Park, MD/PA line, spigot at bath house
1136.0 Wolfsville Rd, Ranger's house 0.3 miles down road
1147.8 Washington Monument State Park, at bath house
1149.7 Dahlgren Campground, rear of bath house
1156.9 Gathland State Park, spigot near bath house (also soda machine)
1166.9 Harpers Ferry

(2013 AT Guide mileage)

Kaptainkriz
09-09-2016, 12:26
Spring near Ensign Cowell Shelter is nearly dry....just a nasty mud puddle:
36158

kotaro24
09-15-2016, 16:00
Thanks, KaptainKriz. My brother and I are section hiking Maryland next week, this is good to know. :)

Lauriep
09-15-2016, 20:51
Crampton Gap Spring is dry, and Ensign Cowall is reliably icky in late summer/fall. Haven't heard a report about Pine Knob Shelter spring, but it is likely very slow.

The following springs are reliable and I do not recall them ever going dry. They are listed south to north:


Ed Garvey Shelter
Rocky Run Shelter
Annapolis Rocks Campsite
Pogo Campsite

I think the following is reliable, but not quite sure:


Devil's Racecourse/Raven Rocks

dpoclery
11-08-2017, 22:03
Can anyone confirm that the Pogo spring is still viable. When I passed through there about a month ago I could not locate it. Thanks

Mikerfixit
11-09-2017, 09:40
Its down a side trail off of the main AT just north of the entrance to Pogo Campgrounds. If you look closely you will see the remains of an old spring right where the side trail breaks off the AT. Follow the side trail/ spring bed to the newer spring. I missed it too on my last trip and didn't see the trail until leaving Pogo the following morning heading north.

dpoclery
11-09-2017, 17:28
Great, thank you!

Kaptainkriz
11-09-2017, 22:28
yep, 300' west down the thurston grigs trail.


Its down a side trail off of the main AT just north of the entrance to Pogo Campgrounds. If you look closely you will see the remains of an old spring right where the side trail breaks off the AT. Follow the side trail/ spring bed to the newer spring. I missed it too on my last trip and didn't see the trail until leaving Pogo the following morning heading north.

Crossup
11-09-2017, 22:48
Cool, that correlates with the Guthooks entry. I'll be doing SNP north to just past PennMar as my first hike of 2018 next spring, hopefully early enough to beat the bubble. Can't wait to do the Roller Coaster(why do I have the feeling I shouldn't say that?)

jungleland1972
10-11-2018, 08:06
Looking to do my 1st backpacking hike X-mas week by going from HF to Pen Mar (covering the Maryland portion of the AT). I plan to be flexible and do it in 3 days (2 nights) or 4 days (3 nights) depending on how I feel. I am transitioning from long distance running to hiking (injury reasons).
One of the concerns I have is water availability in December. It seems there are a few frost free taps at state parks. Should I plan for only being able to get water at those locations?

illabelle
10-11-2018, 09:12
Looking to do my 1st backpacking hike X-mas week by going from HF to Pen Mar (covering the Maryland portion of the AT). I plan to be flexible and do it in 3 days (2 nights) or 4 days (3 nights) depending on how I feel. I am transitioning from long distance running to hiking (injury reasons).
One of the concerns I have is water availability in December. It seems there are a few frost free taps at state parks. Should I plan for only being able to get water at those locations?

Based on a quick review of the thread, there are several good water sources, and a few that can run dry. I wouldn't be concerned about water myself. I assume you have a guidebook...?

jungleland1972
10-11-2018, 09:34
Thanks illabelle. I ordered the guidebook a few days ago and am waiting for it to arrive and I wasn't sure if it would include the reliability of the water sources.

illabelle
10-11-2018, 09:56
Thanks illabelle. I ordered the guidebook a few days ago and am waiting for it to arrive and I wasn't sure if it would include the reliability of the water sources.

Yes, it does. Assuming it's the AT Guide you've ordered, water sources are shown by a water drop symbol, filled in for reliable sources, and not filled in for unreliable sources. In areas with abundant water, the guide does not list them all.

When we did Maryland, it was March and pretty cold. I remember snow flurries when we got dropped off, and a low of 17 one night. But we had no problem getting water. I don't remember using the frost free taps, except maybe at Gathland. It's been a few years ago.

Maryland is a good state to get started backpacking. The terrain is relatively tame, and it has some nice shelters. Best of luck to you!

jungleland1972
10-11-2018, 09:59
Thanks you. I really appreciate the people on this message board for all of the insight it has provided. :clap

Crossup
10-11-2018, 12:49
Maryland has had a record year for rainfall...we are already well into the top 10 highest annual rainfalls and still have 2.5 wet months to go so you'll likely find abundant water and even extra sources. I'm doing MD Oct 22 and expect to not need to carry more than 2L at any time.

capehiker
10-11-2018, 21:14
If I’m not mistaken, the longest stretch in MD without water is 5.5 miles.

jungleland1972
10-12-2018, 07:14
I understand it has been a really wet year, I was more concerned about water availability in the Winter. In December it usually doesn't get cold enough to freeze running water (where I live in Southern Maryland), so I sounds like I should probably be fine with a couple of 1 liter smart water bottles and a screw on sawyer filter? Actually, in the cold, I probably won't need as much water anyway but I like the idea of having 2 bottles just in case (and for cooking purposes).

Crossup
10-12-2018, 12:35
You'll be fine with two bottles in general.
Given that sometimes water is a goodly hike from the shelter or campground I like to have enough capacity(in camp) to only make one trip so I can have enough to be able to leave camp in the morning with how ever much I figure I need in my bottles.
I frequently end up donating water as I can fetch 10-11L at one go(6L Dromedary, 3L bladder and 32,24, 20 oz bottles) but on the other hand I often take real, warm showers too. Sounds like a lot but its generally a 6L shower, 2L drinking/cooking and 2L more to fill up for departure, so its actually just right.
I agree at this time of year, one can get by with less water but I consider having a bit of reserve an important safety measure.

Its one thing to survive a long day without water and quite another to have to sweat for a long day and not hydrate. It only takes one fall to ruin the light weight bottles we use or to chafe a hole in a bladder from mis-packing your load. For me the thing is 99.9% of the time not having water is inconvenient or uncomfortable, but when things go sideways- say you fall and cant move at any speed...then water can become critical. So I choose to never be without more than my anticipated need.

jungleland1972
12-10-2018, 08:11
I hiked from Dahlgren backpack campground to the Crampton Gap shelter (tent sites) and back yesterday and noticed that the Frost Free Spigot at the Dahlgren campground was not working (do they turn it off for the winter?). The water was running nicely at the Rocky Run shelter.
Over x-mas (if the weather isn't too horrible) I am planning on doing the Maryland section. I guess the lesson is, get the water when it's available and not to expect the next source (even if it's a frost free spigot) to be working.
Also, I made it to the tent sites at the Crampton Gap shelter (to stop for lunch) be decided I didn't want to hike down the hill (and then back up) to check out the shelter and water source (I was too lazy).

Gambit McCrae
12-10-2018, 13:34
I understand it has been a really wet year, I was more concerned about water availability in the Winter. In December it usually doesn't get cold enough to freeze running water (where I live in Southern Maryland), so I sounds like I should probably be fine with a couple of 1 liter smart water bottles and a screw on sawyer filter? Actually, in the cold, I probably won't need as much water anyway but I like the idea of having 2 bottles just in case (and for cooking purposes).

I carry the same containers in December as I do in August. I am just as thirsty in both months. Since the keywords of December and Sawyer both have come up, I would warn you against the freezing of water in your sawyer. If you blow the water out of it after using it, the likelihood of it cracking is greatly reduced.