Sunday, March 12, 2006

Dam Number 5

The Potomac Edison Power Plant to the Mule Crossover

Start Mile: 106.6
End Mile: 108
Time: 2 hours
When: Late morning 3/12/06

Directions: Take rout 11 to Williamsport. At MD68, head west and continue through Pinesburg. Make a left onto MD 56. Take the first left onto Dam #5 Road. Follow Dam #5 Road to the guard lock at Dam #5. There is a gravel parking area.



This walk starts at Dam #5. Although it rained this morning, it has been dry for the last few weeks. There is still quite a bit of debris sitting on the dam. I doubt it will matter. The dam has been here since 1860 and even Stonewall Jackson couldn't knock it down. I'd just like to see it fall so there would be more structure under the dam to hold fish. You can bet I'll be back here later in the year with a fishing rod.


We stopped to see the Potomac Edison power plant on the West Virginia side of the river. Still in operation, the plant was built in 1916. It contributes to the 10% of electricity the US gets from hydroelectric plants.


There is a lock house near the parking area. It is not open to the public. There is a portable toilet near by.




We came across a large flock of Canadian Geese just above the dam. Buck seemed to think they would taste good as his ruff came up and he went into stalk mode.



The path is right along the river in this stretch. It was blasted out of the rock cliffs to the north. Parts of the trail are actually paved.




The lack of trees makes it easy to see across the river to the development on the WV side. For the next mile there is a river development that takes advantage of the slack water. This part of the river is fairly deep.



At mile 107 is a set of locks and the keeper's house. There is a parking area here.



This is where the mules had to cross the canal. The remains of the stone bridge make this a nice place to stop and take a break. The stonework is fascinating. It is hard to fathom how much work was required just to build this one section of the canal.



We continued on to mile 108. The rain picked up a bit so we headed back to the truck.

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