Tubing is an exuberant way to enjoy the beauty of the Appalachians on a hot summer day. Deep Creek makes for a combination of “lazy river” and rapids.
Once on your tube, sit back, relax and put your feet in the water. The cold might be a bit of a shock at first, but you’ll soon forget about it as you rush downstream. Tubing can be a fun group event, too, so bring a friend and scream out together as you plunge into the water at the first rapid.
The lower section is shallower than the upper; watch your backside to keep it from bumping on the rocks. You’re also more prone to get stuck in the lower section. If you do, just push off the rocks with your hands or feet and keep on riding. Call a local outfitter ahead of time to see how high the water’s running.
Be aware that some of the rapids can tip you into the water! If you wear glasses, you’ll want to make sure they’re tied with string. Lather up with sunscreen, too.
A race down the creek can quickly turn into a game of bumper tubes. An extra jolt from a newfound friend can be all the push you need if you’re stuck.
If you want to take a break from tubing, jump off a rock into a swimming hole or sit on a nearby bench and watch a waterfall cascade into the creek.
If you’ve taken the braver route and gone down the upper section, you can get off at the swimming hole and hike back up to the top — or you can drift down to the lower section. When you reach a concrete bridge near the parking lot, get out and hike back up the trail to do it all over again. Tube as much as you like in a single day!
— Gabe Dunsmith is a graduate of Christ School in Arden and will be attending Vassar College.