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. I opted to not rent a tube, rather use one bought from a store.

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 might try tubing here one day if the water level ever increases. Though based on my experience & those who commented below I'm not sure if it's worth bothering due to lack of consistent depth. Overall your best bet for tubing locally is in Harford or Baltimore County.

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