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Conowingo Dam, Darlington

4.4
#50 of 105 in Parks in Maryland
The Conowingo Dam is a large hydroelectric dam in the lower Susquehanna River near the town of Conowingo, Maryland. The medium-height, masonry gravity dam is one of the largest non-federal hydroelectric dams in the U.S.The dam sits about 9.9mi from the river mouth at the Chesapeake Bay, 5mi south of the Pennsylvania border and 45mi northeast of Baltimore, on the border between Cecil and Harford counties.The dam supports a 9,000-acre reservoir, which today covers the original town of Conowingo. During dam construction, the town was moved to its present location about 1mi northeast of the dam's eastern end. The rising water also would have covered Conowingo Bridge, the original U.S. Route 1 crossing, so it was demolished in 1927.The Conowingo Reservoir, and the nearby Susquehanna State Park, provide many recreational opportunities.Construction and hydroelectric power generationThe area, which appears on a 1612 map by John Smith, was originally known as Smyth's Falls.On January 23, 1925, Philadelphia Electric Company awarded the construction contract for the dam to Stone & Webster of Boston, who did the design. Construction, which started in 1926, was carried out by Arundel Corporation of Maryland. (Abandoned railroad tracks for transporting heavy equipment to the dam site can be seen along the western shore of the river below the dam.) When completed in 1928, it was the second-largest hydroelectric project by power output in the United States after Niagara Falls.
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Conowingo Dam Reviews
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  • Visited the Conowingo Dam with family to check out the variety of birds. We saw about 30 bald eagles, adults and juveniles!! As well, lots of cormorants, black vultures, blue herons. There was a sign ...  more »
  • The dam area is great for watching eagles and other birds including large numbers of black vultures. There's a walking trail along the river and points where you can walk down to the river. As we were...  more »
  • I've never seen a dam quite like the Conowingo HYDRODAM. It is worth the stop to learn how it works and what it does. Photographers come to photograph Eagles. Lots of quirky venues around the area. St...  more »

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