Northern PA - places to paddle?

I have to make a trip to northern PA in late April. Here are some places I found on the map that are not too far from where I’ll be:

Lake Wilhelm

Meander Creek Reservoir

… and I was intrigued by this, as I like historical sites:

Oil Creek State Park (paddling the Oil Creek)

Anybody know anything about these? Or have other suggestions? I could go farther south if needed, but don’t want to go any farther north than what I’ve outlined here.

Thanks in advance!

We paddled both
From Oil Ck State park access area to Rouseville was very nice. I read somewhere the recommended gauge level at Rouseville was 2.5 feet. We went at 3.5 feet and honestly, I don’t think I would have wanted less. We bumped quite a bit and searched for deep enough water in several sections. About a couple miles from put in there is a rapid that can be tricky. I think it was an old mill dam. Then farther down there was and actual dam you must portage around, they recommend the left but we went around the right. Do not under any circumstances think you will shoot the dam or spillway. A very nice trip and a bike trail runs beside the creek most of the way. I would go again.

Lake Wilhelm was very nice. The exteme north end above the highway bridge is off limits however. That looks most interesting on the maps but it is a fish and game sanctuary. There were many double crested cormorants there on our visit. Only place I ever saw them. We launched on the East side somewhere just below the highway bridge. There was a marina across the lake on the west side. It was a great day and nice place to paddle and fish.

Lake Wilhelm
is a nice paddling spot. I’ve only paddled the north end of the lake but really enjoyed it; I was the only one on the water up there so it was really peaceful. I’ve posted some photos here:

The only section off limits is the propagation area north of SR1018. Maps are here:

Other options
Allegheny River - Though you need a shuttle or paddle one of many pools.

Lake Arthur - Moraine State Park

Conneaut Swamp east of Geneva PA. Launch on Rt 19.

Oil Creek
Plenty of parking at the put-in. Scenic. Lots of history. Plenty of wildlife. I have seen deer, fox, muskrat, porcupine, and eagles. Great place for bird watching. The bike trail runs along the creek and there are plenty of places to stop for a picnic or exploration. The little rapid/dam is not bad. Just keep a tad right of the middle and you should miss the big boulder. There is a take out on river right just before you reach the bridge at Petroleum Center. I like to combine a float from Drakes Well to Petroleum center with a bike ride, rollerblading or hike. Worth the visit. Have fun. Laura

Anything requiring a shuttle is out

Of the other two you mentioned, which do you prefer, and why? Thanks for the suggestions!

Thank you Laura
and thanks to everyone else also!

I am leaning towards Oil Creek because I was intrigued by the historical info on the website and from the photos I have seen, it looks like a pretty and interesting area with lots of wildlife. I would like to check it out, but do you think a shuttle is necessary?

Or would it be possible for me to put in somewhere downstream and paddle upstream for a while, then back down to my starting place? If there’s not too much current this might work for me.

Otherwise, I might just have to settle for a lake in the area, but it appears there are some nice ones so that is fine too.

other ideas
Just throwing these out there:

For historical significance it doesn’t get better than French Creek. But i’ve never paddled it, so…

Allegheny River from Franklin down a couple miles then back up. I did this in early summer when the water was pretty high and it was a workout, but beautiful paddling…

The Clarion River is nice…

Personally i like Lake Arthur better than Wilhelm. The ambiance is similar but Arthur is larger, there’s more water to cover and more little bays and inlets.

Anyone ever paddle the Brokenstraw?
Pulled off the road a few times while passing through to admire this beautiful little stream. Thought that it MIGHT be worth paddling in the spring when the water is up. Brokenstraw seemed like a good trout stream. The stretches of French Creek I saw seemed okay, but the water was a silty brown.

Northern PA
Hello- I live between Clarion and Franklin and enjoy paddling the rivers and some creeks in that area. I have never paddled Oil Creek though. The creek runs through Titusville, home of the first oil well. There is a museum and a lot of displays inside and out. I paddle the Clarion and Allegheny rivers most of the time, I enjoy fishing while I float.

If you have any questions about this area, I may be able to help you? Enjoy your trip! -Susan

Oil Creek paddling
You need a shuttle. I don’t think you will make much progress paddling upstream. I paddle hard to race and I could not imagine paddling up that creek the day we went down it.

We enjoy Lake Arthur alot
and paddle there at least once a week - its a large enough lake to not become bored. Good fishing also.

Bike shuttle
The bike trail runs along side of the creek. Don’t have a bike. I believe they have bikes for rent at Petroleum center. It is 10 miles easy peddling and extra opportunities for seeing wildlife and there are historical markers along the trail with the history of the area. Laura

Sounds like the Oil Creek
is out, unless I want to do a bike shuttle, which I probably won’t (my bike isn’t great and I don’t want to put any money into it right now). Unless I can get some locals to come along and run a shuttle with me… hmmm…

I also might be able to get some folks from a local paddling group to come along. Need to pin down the timing of my trip before I get too far ahead of myself, tho.

Otherwise, I’ll probably check out Lake Arthur.

Thanks to all for the recommendations and local knowledge.

I’ve been thinking about using craiglist to find someone to run a shuttle for me.