Susquehanna River - Holtwood


Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, US

Disclaimer

Holtwood

Usual Difficulty III+ (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 5 fpm
Max Gradient 5 fpm

Mark Cecchini & Rob Terry at Playspot 1


Mark Cecchini & Rob Terry at Playspot 1
Photo of Kristen Podolak

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, PA
usgs-01570500 6.00 - 12.00 ft III+ 01h39m 3.58 ft (too low)


River Description

Holtwood has a number of different boating options:

You can do some creeking in the fish ladder on river left at the breast of the dam. I must warn you that the river left wall of the fish ladder has holes that are blown out that create sieves. There is a lot of rebar in the Fish Laddeer. I know a few locals that have run it. When there is a lot of water coming through the the fish ladder, the dangers are not as evident. I tell people to look at it first without water before you decide to run it. I typically put in about 1/2 way down the fish ladder, you still get a little creeking before you hit the pumping Susquehanna.

I typically make a circuit of all of the spots listed below, except for Almond Joy. I have listed the circuit in logical order. Please note that this circuit will require long upstream attainments and carry's across islands .

Description of the river right channel

Big Water fun, Class IV
Playspots

Storm Hole

The Play Spot

Other Squirt lines

Put In

Take Out

the playspot list, low water to high water
Storm Hole 5.5 thru 6.7
Playspot 6.0 to 7.5
Playspot II 7.5 to 10+
Powerline 7.5 and up
Rumble Pit 7.0 to 8.0
Pleaseant Surprise 7.5 to 9.5
Rock-N-Roll Hole (aka Almond Joy) 8.0 to 10.0
Accelerator 10.0 to 12.5
Mama Bear 11+
Beartrap 13.5+


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2008-06-10 21:00:10

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments


2004-01-02 21:18:42 (3856 days ago)
Brad RobertsDetails
Holtwood is best accessed from McCall's Ferry road (River Right). There is a trail leading down to
the river next to the large warning sign (with the Starrk-Moon sticker) under the powerline. Take
the Trail to the left. If you plan on staying above the bridge, simply attain or walk back up the
the put-in. If you head downstream, you'll want to set a shuttle and take out at the Lock 15 area,
reached off of River Rd. (McCall's Ferry Rd downstream of Rt 372.) Park outside of the gate if
you're going to take off after sunset.
Unfortunately, several people have had their cars broken into here (some more than once). It's best
to leave your valuables at home. Most of the time the theifs steal wallets, cell phones, CD's, and
the like, and don't usually go after the smelly boating gear you leave in your car,but to be on the
safe side, if you have an extra boat on your car, make sure it's locked up securely and it's best
not to leave boats unattended when running or walking shuttle. Consider yourself warned.

2004-01-02 21:05:03 (3856 days ago)
Brad RobertsDetails
Re: Give us the holtwood beta... by Bradley Jan 01 2004, 20:44 GMT New
Date: Jan 01 2004, 23:12 GMT
From: rhinoboard

Holtwood is on the Susquahanna River in Southern PA. The good playspots are about 1/4 mile
downstream from the huge dam. Check it out at chasingrain.com

2003-11-30 19:59:36 (3889 days ago)
Jeremy LaucksDetails
For the real skinny on Holtwood play, surf over to the constantly evolving Susquehanna Surf Guide
at:
http://www.chasingrain.com/surfguidefs.html

2003-09-30 03:03:13 (3950 days ago)
Brad RobertsDetails
Colby runs Holtwood Dam New
Forum: BoaterTalk
Date: Aug 26 2003, 23:01 GMT
From: loon-moon-soon

Homeboy Colby Mackley comes in from the Olympic Pennisula borrows a boat and heads out and runs the
big dam left of center. Colby was out scouting the dam yesterday and decided it could be done.
Colby said that he dropped off the biggest horizone line ever out on the big river. Some boards
were missing and the water was just below the remaining boards as he got his ass launched into the
air coming off the lip. Cool stuff on the Susquehanna. Not for others. Don't try this at home.
Brad@Starrkmoon

2002-04-18 14:25:20 (4480 days ago)
John BergDetails
Isn't the fish ladder on river right?
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Associated Projects

  • Holtwood Dam - Susqehanna (PA)
    Dam Owner is proposing to reduce flows and alter channel containing whitewater features as part of a FERC license amendment.