The Monocacy River Water Trail is a self-guided tour of the river for canoeists and kayakers from the Monocacy Battlefield to the Monocacy Aqueduct in Maryland. The trail takes paddlers through landscapes once inhabited by Native Americans and early European settlers who were attracted to this fertile valley.
It provides opportunities to observe diverse wildlife and historic sites. The trail also provides river travelers with a new perspective on the resources of the Monocacy that inspires commitment to conservation and restoration.
Please note that boating, canoeing, kayaking and other activities on rivers can be dangerous. Obtain a water trail map and guide in advance, plan your trip, and follow all safety precautions.
Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate such trails. The Chesapeake Conservancy, National Park Service, and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials.
The Monocacy is usually runnable in the spring and early summer up to mid-July and from late fall through winter unless extreme drought conditions exist.
The Monocacy is a Maryland scenic river used by canoeists, kayakers, and fisherman. It flows for 58 miles through Central Maryland before emptying in the Potomac River and, eventually, the Chesapeake Bay. Adequate water levels are needed to enjoy a float trip on the Monocacy. Scenery is rolling farmland with rock outcroppings, historic features and bridges, and overhanging trees.
Water Trail Segments
The trail has been divided into 3 segments but visitors can make their trips shorter or longer according to their time and ability.
Section 1: Maryland Route 77-Rocky Ridge to Devilbiss Bridge
Section 2: Devilbiss Bridge to Gambrill Mill
Section 3: Gambrill Mill to the Monocacy Boat Ramp
The Frederick County Parks and Recreation Department maintains boat launch facilities along the river; there may be picnic tables, nature trails and vault toilets. There are no public campsites along the Monocacy. The river trail flows through the Monocacy National Battlefield Park, although there is no developed water access to the park.