need advice ,PA kayaking

Hi all, can anyone recommend some good places to kayak in Pennsylvania? preferably scenic as can be. Fairly calm waters. all trips will be round-trip day trips. It gets warmer ,sooner , in Pa. than it does in NY. also…do out-of-staters need permits of any kind? I know Pa has some weird ( to me ) laws. I read something in a post about boats need permits to use state boat ramps ! thanks for any info.

PA is a big state
There’s this lake called Raystown. Perhaps you’ve seen it mentioned.

Also Kinzua reservoir out west.

The Delaware river is plenty scenic, but it’s difficult to do without a shuttle.

Yes, for state ramps you need a sticker. You don’t need one for any of the three spots I mentioned above.

The cleverly named “Places to Paddle” page right here on has plenty of suggestions.

Don’t know where you are
in Pa., but I just bought a new Quiet Water book. The first 2 editions just covered NJ, but the new one covers eastern PA as well, which seems to have lots of nice lakes. I’ve been to Lake Nockamixon, which I can highly recommend. A spot I really want to visit this year is Conowingo Reservoir (I’ve also seen this listed as a lake and a pond). Nearly 16,000 acres with lots of islands. Nearby is Lake Aldred, at 2,400 acres. Haven’t been to either one yet, but I plan on doing a lot of PA exploring this year.

My location is central NY state, near Syracuse…I browsed thru the trip reports on P-Net for ideas, but I’m not that familiar with Pa. so I have no idea whats worth the trip down to do. I was thinking … half of Pa. to start with, from Rt81 westward. I looked on GoogleEarth for ideas but i thought a post on P-Net would get better results. Raystown I am familiar with from reading p_net, so that is a option. Any wildlife mgt. areas to paddle? I particulary like slow moving streams/creeks/ etc to paddle. not really looking for big, wind blown waters. thanks for any info .

You can check out…
this website (PA Fish and Boat Commission) for Water trails.

West Branch of Susquehanna, Clarion River, Allegheny Rivers are slow moving. Pine Creek is a nice paddle but has some Class II water on the upper end depending on water level…

have a look at Pine Creek …

– Last Updated: Mar-12-10 10:38 PM EST –

...... take the Google map flight (Satelite and Street views) from Blackwell on down to Slate Run or Walnut Bottom , see what you think .

north central Pa. ...

Blackwell, Pa. at Pine Creek and rt.414 is like 150-160 miles from Syracuse .

Blackwell is like 17 miles downriver from the canyons rapids , and looks to be pretty smooth , quite and scenic running down river from there , some high terrain on the side .

Do you have a shuttle plan ??

Rt. 414 pretty much paralells the creek through there (crosses over the creek at Blackwell) . The Park sevices Rail trail paralells pretty much also .

Looks like quite a few put-in/takes-outs along the way every so many miles , part of the rail trail too .

There's a Motel something or other opposite side the creek from Slate Run area , and a local store and gas just up from Slate Run , and Petecote Camp (on a horseshoe bend) is not too far down river from Blackwell (these show on the map w/phone #'s)

Also just bought a book
It is a new release - Paddling Pennsylvania By Jeff Mitchell (kayaking and canoeing the Keystone’s State’s Rivers & Lakes. Haven’t gone thru it yet but a ton of info - looks like a great book.

Check out the Susquehanna River, say from Sayre down to Wyalusing. I do this river a lot without a shuttle. Going back upstream is not that bad.

Also look into Lake Wallenpaupack on I-84. Big lake with a variety of water. From Ledgedale ( free boat launch ), you can enter the main body of the lake or go the opposite direction up Wallenpaupack Creek.

A suggestion
I’m from PA an actually live about 2 minutes from Raystown Lake. I’m not sure what kind of paddling you’re looking for, but you’re not going to find white water around here.

Raystown lake is nice and long (about 40 miles) but can be highly trafficked on weekends. Also, you’re not technically allowed to camp along the lake, but if you’re willing to risk it they rarely check or kick anyone out.

The lake is pretty scenic especially in the warmer months and fall. Very popular for stripped bass fishing. The southern end is more of a wide river and it gradually gets wider towards the north end. It actually gets pretty deep in some parts (up to 200 feet).

If you’re coming to the area, I’d also recommend the Juniata River. It is very popular for trout fishing and I’ve done an overnight canoe trip down it. Very little traffic and scenic. Lots of wildlife including fish and turtles. Fair amount of places to camp, especially if you don’t go during the height of camping season when all the spots are taken. It is actually possible to follow this river into the Susquehanna and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay…a trip I’m hoping to take sometime.

I can’t comment on the laws and regulations but as far as Huntingdon is concerned, I really doubt anyone will care where you put in/pull out. There is a boat ramp in Huntingdon and numerous spots to pull out down river. Raystown is a little harder to get access to because it is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers. I know there are numerous boat launches and I doubt that you would need any kind of permit to launch at them.

Email me if you have any other questions.

PA waterways and regulations
Yes, it is true that you need to pay for a $20 annual permit sticker to use State-maintained boat ramps. Frankly, I’ve rarely been challenged in the 6 years I’ve kayaked here in Western PA. Though I do buy at least one sticker per year, I have 4 boats and sometimes I don’t get around to stickering all of them. Even the various rangers at State Parks seem to be vague on the requirements for small craft like kayaks.

You don’t say where you live – it’s a big state! I can offer some suggestions, but most of mine will be in the West and Southwest of the State: the Big Three Mississippi drainage feeders (the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela), secondary rivers and streams like the Youghiogheny (has flat slow sections as well as up to Class IV white water), Clarion, Loyalhanna, Conemaugh, Red Creek and Tionesta. For lakes you’ve got Erie for inland sea open water and large reservoirs like Lake Arthur, an hour north of Pittsburgh.

thanks all…
for the suggestions …i have every suggestion written down and will research them.

$10, not $20
I just purchased a launch permit yesterday. It was $10 for a one year permit, or $18 for a two year permit.

(Click bottom option and go from there.)