Reposting this with the water hazards from recent heavy rainfall. The above is a river I forded yesterday. I wore my shoes in it didn't worry about getting my footwear completely soaked (a plus for quick drying footwear like trail runners), and used my hiking poles for leverage. The water current can get very swift though and can knock you off your feet. Be careful. If in doubt, don't cross.
With all the rain be have been receiving, I discovered this valuable article via the Appalachian Trail Conservancy on how to safely cross streams and rivers. Be sure to check out the ATC for other valuable articles on planning your hike and become a member!
Safety Tips for Fording Streams and Rivers
(from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy)
Fording streams and rivers may be the most dangerous challenge hikers confront. River crossings can be deceptively hazardous. Even a very shallow, swiftly flowing body of water can pack enough force to knock you off your feet. Use caution and common sense. Carry a map and compass and know how to use them. If a section of the Appalachian Trail is closed or presents a serious safety hazard, hikers may take an alternate route or skip those sections entirely and still be eligible to receive 2,000-miler status.
Do not attempt to wade or swim across Maine’s Kennebec River. Dam releases upstream may cause sudden and rapid changes in water depth and current. One hiker is known to have drowned and others have had near misses fording the river. The official route of the Trail across the Kennebec is the ferry service for A.T. hikers, provided at no charge during peak hiking season. Current information on the Kennebec ferry schedule.