Paddling Pennsylvania  by Bob Frye

Paddling Pennsylvania Guide Book

by Bob Frye (Falcon Guides)
Paddling Pennsylvania  by Bob Frye
Pennsylvania is a paddler’s heaven and one of America’s most blessed states when it comes to total miles of rivers and streams. Add in its many lakes, and there is quite simply all kinds and manner of waters where you can set out in a canoe, kayak, or raft. Paddling Pennsylvania describes the best and most accessible routes—fifty classics in all, from Lake Erie’s Presque Isle lagoons to the Allegheny River, from the Susquehanna to the Delaware. Carefully chosen to be within the ability of most beginning to intermediate paddlers, some routes offer wilderness paddling while others are closer to population centers, but all feature good access points, great scenery, wildlife, and opportunities to have fun.

© 2011 Bob Frye/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Paddling Pennsylvania" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 20.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 20.

The Middle Allegheny River is a fun float127 miles of undammed water that lends itself to weekend or longer trips. There are opportunities to stay in official campgrounds or, if youre feeling adventurous, on undeveloped islands. This stretch is on a portion of the river thats classified as a National Wild and Scenic River.
Warren, PA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 12.9
This trip along the Clarion River has long been good and has gotten even better in recent years. You get wildlife, quiet conditions, some swift but not too fast flows, great scenery, and, if youre inclined, good fishing. There are plenty of places to camp too, either in primitive style or in campgrounds that offer showers and restrooms. Simply put, its a paddlers dream and a personal favorite. Just dont expect too much solitude, at least on weekends.
Ridgway, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 15.8
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This float is in this book not so much because of what it is right now but because of what it is becoming, and what it yet might be. The Conemaugh has long had a reputation as a dirty, polluted waterway. It still has issues, but efforts to clean it up are ongoing, and this particular float gives you a peek at how good things could become.
Saltsburg, PA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 7.1
America's first steamboat harbinger of the modern industrial age got its start on the Conestoga River in Lancaster County, famous today for its Pennsylvania Dutch Amish community that eschews such modern conveniences as electricity, phones, and automobiles for a simpler life. Floating this section of river lets you cover the same stretch of water that the first steamboat reportedly did.
Lancaster, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 9.5
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The longest undammed river east of the Mississippi, the Delaware is a delightful beauty. More than 150 miles of the river are listed in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers program, and with good reason. This stretch in particular is gorgeous, featuring some long and exciting rapids, terrific surroundings, and clean water, all within hours of some of the nations largest cities.
Narrowsburg, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 12.1
Look at the landscape cut by the Driftwood Branch of Sinnemahoning Creek and youll see what appears to be a crinkled-up piece of aluminum foil. Its all peaks and valleys and shadows and light. But thats what you get herelots of mountains that, while not the tallest in the state, roll on, one after another, with streams that zig and zag through the bottomlands. Its pretty cool country.
Emporium, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 12
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The Frankstown Branch is classified as a river, but in reality its small enough that it feels more like a middling-size stream. That may be the reason it gets overlooked a bit by paddlers in this region. But dont miss it. This very pretty water offers some nice scenery and interesting local history.
Mt. Etna, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 11.9
For cutting through some seriously steep mountains, the Juniata (pronounced jewknee- AT-a, meaning vertical or standing stone in the language of the areas original inhabitants, the Onojutta-Haga Indians) is a calm, peaceful river. Its full of life, though, especially when it comes to birds, and offers some great opportunities for a canoe camping trip.
Port Royal, PA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 13.9
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The Kiskiminetas Riveror Kiski (pronounced KISS-key), as its known to localsis a surprisingly nice river thats just recently become known as a place to paddle. Its not a wilderness river, by any means. The heart of Pittsburghs downtown is only about 35 miles away from the launch described here. But the river is pleasantly green and fun to explore.
Apollo, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 8.5
Theres no area of Pennsylvania as densely populated as its southeastern corner, as youll see if you drive through Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, the cities that line this route. This is the most urban paddle described in this book, but you wouldnt always know it when youre on the water. A unique history has preserved much of the river corridor in a natural state.
Allentown, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 11.3
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The North Branch of the Susquehanna is a big, beautiful river in its own right, with some dramatic cliffs offering wonderful scenery from the waterline up. This particular trip gives you the chance to explore some rich local history too. It can be done in one long day or broken into a two-day affair to suit your pace.
Towanda, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 18.4
There was a time when Oil Creek was just thata stream that often held as much crude oil as water. The worlds first oil well was drilled nearby, and the resulting mad rush to harvest that newfound source of wealth decimated the stream in many ways. Fortunately the creek has come back to life. Its again home to everything from fish to otters to eagles and offers great scenery, all with a few touches of the oil boom mixed in.
Oil City, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 9.5
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This trip passes through a deep gorge known as Pennsylvanias Grand Canyon and the largest contiguous natural area in the state. Its every bit as awesome as all that would suggest. Its wild, rugged, and remote; full of bears, timber rattlesnakes, eagles, rapids, and adventure. Just get there early in the year. By early summer, the creek is too low to float again until fall.
Ansonia, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 17.1
This is the only major float in this book that isnt on moving water. Its so unlike anything else in Pennsylvania, though, that its worth a visit, especially if you enjoy wildflowers and wildlife.
Erie, PA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 8
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The path followed by the Raystown Branch of the Juniata looks like the trail of a drunk staggering home after a late night at the bar, zigging and zagging, looping this way and that, meandering from here to there. All those bends make for an interesting float, however. Theres no time to get bored before rounding another turn.
Everett, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 13
The Schuylkill River has unofficially been tagged the Revolutionary River because George Washington and his troops famously spent one winter in what is now Valley Forge National Historical Park, which is split by the river. This trip lets you explore that park from end to end by water and see some other interesting sights along the way.
Phoenixville, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 7.8
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The Susquehanna River Basin as a whole isnt the biggest aroundthe Ohio River watershed is largerbut when it comes to individual rivers, the Susquehanna is the granddaddy of them all in Pennsylvania. Its the largest, longest river on the entire East Coast, in fact, and flows wide, strong, and deep on its way to Chesapeake Bay. Paddling it is unlike anything else in the state.
Duncannon, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 10.6
On a map, this section of Swatara Creek looks like one of those chocolate bunnies you used to get on Easter. You may not see too many rabbits taking this float, but you will have a lot of fun as you slowly float along on a peaceful, relaxing trip thats perfect for whiling away a lazy summer day.
Lebanon, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 9.6
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If its wilderness you want, theres no place to get it like the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Theres nary a road to be found, just a lightly used railroad and a handful of camps, with the last two-thirds of this trip especially remote. The river is bordered almost the entire way on both sides by state game lands and state forest. Its just you, the water, and lots of wildlife and scenery.
Karthaus, PA - Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 22.5
The Youghiogheny (pronounced yawk-o-GAY-knee) River, or Yough, as its called locally, is most famous for the whitewater in its southern reaches, around places like Ohiopyle State Park. But this is a beautiful section of river. Its got enough small rapids and riffles to keep it from being boring, plenty of solitude, and some cool rock formations that make great places to pull over to fish, take a swim, or enjoy a picnic break.
Connellsville, PA - Fishing,Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing - Trail Length: 14.1
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