Tubing in Harford County, MD

July 3, 2011 - Rocks State Park (Deer Creek)

For my second tubing adventure I decided to buy a tube over renting one. I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and picked up a $15 "River Rat Tube," as well an electric pump for $20 and a $20 waterproof/dry bag for my recording device.

After spending $55 at Dick's it was time to drive from Bel Air, MD up to Forest Hill, MD and into Rocks State Park.

Once I entered Rocks State Park and passed the welcome sign, I drove about a mile to a road called, St. Clair Bridge Rd.. I was informed a day earlier by the park rangers that a popular and safe tubing site is from Hills Grove to Wilson's Picnic area. Both are right off of St Clair Bridge Rd.

The safe & popular tubing spot in Rocks State Park (Deer Creek)

I parked my car in the Hills Grove parking area (there is a $2 parking fee), blew up my tube, walked through the picnic area and down to the water. Upon setting my tube in the water, I plopped down on it and started floating down Deer Creek.

    As my tubing trek began, I started to assess Deer Creek for...
  • Safety: Would this be a good place to bring kids?
  • Water level: Is it high enough so I never have to get out my tube until the end?
  • Water temperature & cleanliness.
  • Crowds: Will I need to do more paddling to avoid others vs. just floating/relaxing?

After enjoying an hour float down Deer Creek I concluded that it's definitely safe, as the water level remained a foot to two feet deep. Since the water level remained steady I never got stuck nor had to get out of the tube until the end. The temperature of the water was 68 degrees, while the night before it rained, leaving the water a little murky. On this Sunday in the late afternoon the water was crowded and I had to paddle around swimmers and even through a fun party.

All in all I am giving this excursion down Deer Creek a 6 out of 10. I enjoyed my trip down Deer Creek and would have given it a higher rating hadn't not rained the night before (murky water) and the crowds were less (weekdays are better).

Have you tubed here before? We'd love to hear your experience in the comment section.