Stonycreek River - 3 - Stony Canyon

Stonycreek River, Pennsylvania, US


3 - Stony Canyon (Foustwell to Carpenters Park)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 4.6 Miles

Scout rapid surf

Scout rapid surf
Photo taken 04/25/05

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Stonycreek River at Ferndale, PA
usgs-03040000 3.40 - 6.75 ft III-IV 00h50m 3.22 ft (too low)

River Description

This section has great play all over it. It primarily consists of ledges coming at you from all directions, though there are a few boulders thrown in as well.

Hazards: there are two man-made structures. The first is Border Dam, which has spikes that can put a serious hurt on your boat. Below 7' Ferndale, it's wise to walk this one on River Left. The second structure is Pipeline, just downstream of the dam. It's runnable via a tongue on river left; the hole in the center is punchable at most levels, as well.

Most of the good play occurs upstream of Border Dam, though there are play waves below.

See the Stonycreek Canyon Page in the Benscreek Canoe Club Stonycreek Watershed Page.

Directions: The normal putin is on Rte. 601 in Foustwell; an alternate putin is a mile and a half upstream on Rte. 403 in Holsopple. The takeout is in Carpenters Park, on river left. From Hollsopple, take State Rte. 601 to Foustwell. Make a left before the bridge that goes over the Stony onto SR 4039. Follow this road for about 2 miles and under Rt. 219 (4-lane road). Just past Rte. 219 make a right onto Kaufman Church Road (there's a church on the corner). Follow for about a mile and a half and turn right at the stop sign onto SR 4022 (Carpenters Park Road). Follow over Rte. 219 (4-lane road) and down to the Stony takeout (Carpenters Park).

For other streams in this watershed, check out:
Conemaugh River (I-II)
Clear Shade Creek (III)
Quemahoning Creek (III)
Shade Creek (III-IV)
Stony Gorge (IV)
Roaring Fork (IV)
Dark Shade Creek (IV-V)
Paint Creek (V)
Little Conemaugh River - North (II-III)
Little Conemaugh River - South (II-III)
Little Conemaugh River (II-III(V))

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-10-15 17:40:27


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.1Johnson's HoleIII+Playspot
0.3Test Tube HoleIII+
0.5Lower RailroadIII+
0.8The WallIII+
1.0Three Ugly SistersPlayspot
1.3Rooster Tail
1.7Hydro Rock
1.9The Beast
2.3Border DamHazard

Rapid Descriptions

Johnson's Hole (Class III+, Mile 0.1)
Lotsa playspots. Known informally as the "surf laboratory."

Test Tube Hole (Class III+, Mile 0.3)
This is the beginning of a set of great playspots, all the way to the railroad bridge.

Lower Railroad (Class III+, Mile 0.5)
Just downstream of the railroad bridge, this has a long slide which dumps into a big hole. Just downstream is Locomotive, a river-wide ledge that creates a huuuge hole, avoidable on river right.

The Wall (Class III+, Mile 0.8)
Easy to recognize as the river makes a hard turn to the right and a big slope appears on the left.

Three Ugly Sisters
Great surfing at medium-to-high levels. The third sister is a river-wide hole which has room for lots of boats.

This is a river-right playhole after a bottleneck.

Border Dam
This used to be considered runnable, but the understructure is falling apart, and your boat (and bod) risk unfortunate encounters with construction materials. Portage river left.

Nearly river-wide hole with a tongue down the left.

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