I would like to plan trips on the water. Is there a program like mapquest that you can put in your start and end points and it will show you the best water routes and portage stages? Like If I wanted to start in Scranton PA and end in Pittsburgh PA. where would be the best routes and places to portage?
The best route is always
downriver. When that doesn’t look good, it’s time to portage.
Google maps has tools and 3 views that you can use to draw routes, but there is no automatic directions. Not sure what that would look like anyway:
Go 12 rocks past dry creek and then turn left after the big tree…
With a GPS you could use the mileage info out on the water, but they can map where you are anyway, right. Without standardized markers on the waterways, not sure how practical it would be. Of course commercial waterways do have mile markers, but most small rivers and creeks don’t.
Sort of …
Here’s a neat hack someone wrote for GoogleMaps:
He wrote it for cycling and running, but I often misuse it for water routes, either before or after a paddle (the above route traces my recent daytrip on Pensacola Bay): http://www.aquadynology.com/Passages/Daytrip_Pensacola_Bay.html
Although it doesn’t determine or recommend your route for you, for reasons stated above, it does tally up your mileage, and you can save/bookmark routes for later reference or to share with friends.
The portages between watershed in
Pennsylvania would be very difficult, and the upstream paddling or poling to get close to the watersheds leading to Pittsburg would be difficult also.
If you gotta lotta time, and want to deal with just a few portages, go down the Susquehenna to the Atlantic Coastal Waterway, follow it around to New Orleans, and then paddle up the Mississippi and Ohio to Pittsburg. Check with Georgia Kayaker, he might want to go with you part of the way.
You could always try Gerdles (sp)
You will have to piece it together but it would be worth the effort. I would consult the area outfitters.
That's Keystone Canoeing by Edward Gertler A Guide to Canoeable Waters of Eastern Pennsylvania Seneca Press 1993.
Check with the state parks in the states you will be paddling in. Vaughn Fulton