Rock Run

Trip dates: 
Sunday, December 20, 2020
Trip length: 
1 day
Type of watercraft: 
  • Mt Ararat
  • Rock Run Grist Mill
  • Bridge Pilings in Silvery Winter Light
  • Heron Nests
  • Susquehanna Rock Garden
  • Waterfall at Rock Run

41 degrees, mostly cloudy, wind southwest at 5-10 knots

Dobbs and I launched our kayaks at Lapidum Landing and paddled north to the islands adjacent to Rock Run Gristmill.  The water clarity was fantastic!  We circled Snake Island and then followed the mill shore line until we were even with the ruins of the Rock Run Toll Bridge - the earliest bridge crossing (1818) of the Susquehanna River below Columbia, PA.  The bridge consisted of eighteen 200' trussed arch wooden spans.  By 1857, the bridge was mostly destroyed and today only the crumbling stone pilings and abutments remain.  We inspected each of the eight pilings on the western side of the river and then paddled around the northern tip of Wood Island.  In between Wood and Robert Islands, we noted two trees that were filled with bird nests.  Later, I learned that these are likely heron nests - a heron colony - which explains the great number of herons we saw about.  Continuing south, we passed the abutments for the trusses spanning the gap between the islands and a single bridge piling.

We turned north at the tip of Robert Island and paddled up to the line of piling ruins extending east toward Port Deposit.  We kept going upriver in order to wend through the "rock garden" north of Robert Island.  Then, we bore off south, passing Deer Creek and heading for Rock Run.  We poked into the stream a short ways, admiring multi-colored granite and crystal clear water en route to a gurgling waterfall.  

On the way back to the boat ramp, we dog-legged east around Spencer Island for a better view of the pastel-hued sunset sky above the towering hillside.