Hey everyone! I’m new here. I am hoping to find people here to kayak with. All of my family and friends are east near Altoona,PA. I’m easy to get along with and I have a truck. I figure that makes it easier to drop a vehicle off and float to it. From what I gather, there’s all kinds of little lakes to put in around here. Please say hi if getting out and exploring is something you’d like to do!
fellow Pittsburgh paddler
Just saw your post from 5 or 6 weeks ago (maybe you are not still checking on here.)
I live and kayak in Pittsburgh. There are also a couple of kayak groups on MeetUp that seem to regularly meet – you might want to get signed up to get their emails if you want to find other paddlers.
Go to a bookstore or REI and pick up the book “Paddling Pennsylvania” for an excellent guide to places to paddle and suggested water levels.
Some of my local favorites are Lake Arthur (40 minute drive north up I-79, especially the boat ramp at the northeast corner of the lake), the Monongahela River which can be accessed from Riverside Park on the South Side or Duck Hollow ramp off Brown’s Hill road just before the Homestead High Level Bridge. There are some nice little lakes too like Yellow Creek Lake up near Indiana. The flatwater sections of the Youghiogheny from Dawson to McKeesport is pleasant. You can arrange with Hazelbakers Boat Rentals in Layton to shuttle you back to your car for a fee if you do certain runs.
I don’t care much for Keystone Lake, North Park Lake or the Lake in Raccoon Creek. All too small and shallow, but if you just like a nice short day paddle they are OK. Avoid the big power boat lakes like the Yough dam empoundment and Pymatuning reservoir (up towards Erie). The water ski boats and jet skis are a hazard to kayakers.
I appreciate your response. I will definitely check out the groups. I’m not always available, due to work, but even one other person is better than alone in my book.lol I assume you belong to these groups? I’ve never done any thing like that before.
I signed up to the MeetUp site and was added to a few kayak groups. I want to thank you once again. My name is Michael and I hope to maybe meetup somewhere along the way. If you see me, say hi. I live in Washington and my ride is a remix xp10.
Pymatuning is OK for paddling
"Avoid the big power boat lakes like the Yough dam empoundment and Pymatuning reservoir (up towards Erie)."
Pymatuning has a 20 HP limit, so is fine for paddlers. No water skiers or jet skiers, just a bunch of fishermen and pontoons. Being PA’s largest lake, it also gives you plenty of room to roam.
Shenango Lake (the next lake down the river), on the other hand, is a powerboat and jet ski mecca, and best avoided on weekends and holidays. That lake can be insane during the summer. I’ve seen the big offshore racer type boats cranking up through there. The upper end though is a no wake zone, and obviously much better suited to paddling than a lot of the rest of that lake. If you pick a day in the middle of the week though, Shenango Lake can offer some very nice paddling, if you manage to catch a slow day for the powerboaters.
When I lived a bit further south, closer to Moraine (Lake Arthur), I liked that lake a lot too. I thing they still have a 9.9 HP limit there, making it paddle-friendly.
Western PA here, directly north of Pittsburgh at the top of Butler County.
I'm about 5 minutes from the Allegheny in Emlenton. Takes me about 20 minutes to get to Lake Arthur.
FWIW, Lake Arthur is also 20 hp limit. It changed years ago from 10 hp. It's mostly sailboats out in the main part of the lake, a lot of pontoon boats and a lot of fishing boats. So far I haven't run into too much traffic and no hassles. It has a lot of great little fingers to paddle into. McDaniels Launch is probably the best one for paddling as you have 2 nice fingers on the north western part of the lake to paddle through. To the left/west of McDaniels launch at the end of that finger is what is called Hidden River Canoe trail or something. I haven't made it there yet because it was blocked with downed trees when I was on that side of the lake early in the season.
I am wanting to get down to Pittsburgh and paddle around the point. Last year I brought the bike down and rode all the shores for a few hours. Vacation week coming up the end of the month and I want to try to get down there with the kayak. I'm in the middle of nowhere and ride the Allegheny River Trail in Emlenton daily. Being in Pittsburgh was quite an experience on the bike for this country boy. Cruising around on the waterways should be equally as interesting.
Heading up to Pymatuning tomorrow for the Shenango River Watchers Spring Paddle Fest. User name "Shenango" who responded in here has a post a few posts down in the list from your post here.
There's 2 groups at Meetup.com, I think "Pittsburgh Paddlers" and "Western PA paddlers" if I recall the names correctly. Also there's a WpaYakkers group on Facebook. Doesn't seem to have much activity, but I did just learn of a free paddling safety course at Buhl Park from the boat and fish commission and the Shenango River Watchers on June 30th. Looks like boat, paddle, and PDF are provided.
My daughter and mother live in Erie. I am familiar with Moraine. That’s a great place in the early morning. You can get great pictures too. Thank you for your reply.
I have biked around the shore. It was a nice change of scenery. The big barges was cool to see. I worked on a big boat for several months. I’m not so sure I want to paddle anywhere near the point.lol There’s always a lot going on down there. Arthur lake sounds like my kind of place. I will look into that. I like little fingers to paddle into. You never know what you’ll see… good or bad.lol