DNR Guidance: At Keedysville, from Coffman Farms Road downstream to Route 34
Probably best known for its near proximity to the only publicly viewable cave complex in Maryland, Crystal Grottoes Caverns, the small town of Keedysville straddles the Little Antietam Creek. Just to finish the story, the cavern complex was discovered by accident in 1920 when road crews were mining limestone for road construction. According to the owners, the high and narrow limestone cave complex “has more formations per square foot than any cave known to man.” Sadly, the limestone has not influenced the ability of Little Antietam Creek to maintain a trout population year-round this close to the junction with Antietam Creek. There is a sustaining population of wild trout farther north near Smithsburg where the DNR estimated the presence of 421 adult trout per kilometer in 2005.
Access to the creek is easy. The landowner, who graciously permits access for fishing, has a field that snugs up to the west side of the creek. This makes for easy walking to the edge of the water. Anglers should stay close to the river since it is private property. Standing at the edge of the creek, all looks good. The creek runs wide, approximately 20 feet, over a rocky bottom that offers up superb trout holding structure. There are plenty of deeper holes between the rocky outcrops where some sand will collect along with the fish.
Since this is a youth and blind fishing area, be advised that banks are steep with a precipitous five to seven foot drop to the edge of the stream. The eastern bank abuts a residential area that does not offer access to the water. Stick with the western approach and you will do just fine. The easiest place to fish the stream is the pool on either side of the bridge. Although the northern side is not explicitly stocked, the fish won’t be able to figure that out. Since the stream runs adjacent to a public park above the bridge that is the boundary to the restricted area, others can join in the fun.
The Caverns? They are two miles north of town on MD 34.
East: From Frederick, take US 40 Alt W. Turn left onto MD 34 W/ Potomac Street. Once past the Fairview Cemetery, turn left on Coffman Farm Road.
West: From Hagerstown, take I-70 to exit 32A to merge onto US 40 E. Turn right onto MD 66 S/Mapleville Road. MD 66 joins US 40 in Boonsboro. Turn left onto US 40 followed by a right onto MD 34 W/ Potomac Street. Once past the Fairview Cemetery, turn left on Coffman Farm Road.
There is parking on the east side of the bridge over the creek.
Secrets Revealed? No. This is a very public location that is documented in the Maryland DNR stocking plan.
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Upstream from the bridge – outside of restricted area
Downstream from bridge
Upstream to the bridge – note left bank is ok here….
but gets obstructed the farther down you go
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore