Tubing in Howard County, MD

July 7, 2011 - Patapsco State Park (Patapsco River)

In my quest to find another safe and popular tubing location I searched Google. The results led me to an adventure company (Terrapin Adventures) that offers tube rentals and a shuttle to a safe tubing spot in the area. I opted to not rent a tube and rather drive myself to the location.

I've never been to Patapsco State Park (Avalon Area) before and was surprised to see the entrance is not far from I-95. Once I paid the $2 entrance fee, I actually drove under I-95, made a left onto River Rd and parked my car at the end of the road. From here it was time to blow up my trusty $15 tube, put on sunscreen and walk up to the start point (Bloede's Damn).

Bloede's Damn - Patapsco River

Tubing start point: Bloede's Damn, Patapsco River

As I walked to the starting point I could see the water level was about a foot or less. Tubing is the safest and most fun when the water level is consistently two to three feet deep. Though I didn't let this deter me, so I put my tube in the river, plopped down on it and started to float downstream.

Tubing Patapsco River, Elkridge Maryland

As I continued downstream I noticed the water was very clean and there were a few people swimming and tubing. Clean water and moderate crowds are a definite plus for this tuber. Though, low water levels make tubing a pointless affair, as it ended up this day. Not too soon after I took the picture above, I ended up in shallow water and stuck on a rock. When I got up to move my $15 river tube, it popped. Maybe renting a sturdy tube from a vendor is not such a bad idea?

Well I plan on tubing here again when the water level is about a two to three feet deeper. This river is clean, mildly crowded and has a history of tubing as seen in this Baltimore Sun photograph.

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