Susquehanna River - Holtwood

Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, US



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+ 00h40m 4.2 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

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

Unnamed Holtwood Wave

Detail Trip Report  Unnamed Holtwood Wave  @Susquehanna River Holtwood, PA(323.26KB .jpeg)

Accelerator at Holtwood

Detail Trip Report  Accelerator at Holtwood  @Susquehanna River Holtwood, PA(316.90KB .jpeg)

Storm Hole

Detail Trip Report  Storm Hole   @Susquehanna River Holtwood, PA(281.23KB .jpeg)

Storm Hole Loop

Detail Trip Report  Storm Hole Loop  @Susquehanna River Holtwood, PA(349.76KB .jpeg)


Detail Trip Report  Beartrap  @Susquehanna River Holtwood, PA(357.82KB .jpeg)

Upper Piney Channel - Holtwood

Detail Trip Report  Upper Piney Channel - Holtwood  Susquehanna, PA(2.52MB .jpeg)

Holtwood Dam

Detail Trip Report  Holtwood Dam  Susquehanna, PA(2.97MB .jpeg)


Detail Trip Report  Holtwood   Susquehanna, PA(2.39MB .jpeg)

Holtwood Dam and Downstream

Detail Trip Report  Holtwood Dam and Downstream  Susquehanna River, pa(2.26MB .jpeg)


Detail Trip Report  ksKcG  Susquehanna, PA(561.00B .html)

Mark Cecchini & Rob Terry at Playspot 1

Detail Trip Report  Mark Cecchini & Rob Terry at Playspot 1  Susquehanna River, PA(313.01KB .jpeg)

Steve Graybill below Holtwood Dam

Detail Trip Report  Steve Graybill below Holtwood Dam  Susquehanna River, PA(3.33MB .jpeg)

Joe Stumpfel on Shockwave

Detail Trip Report  Joe Stumpfel on Shockwave  Susquehanna River, PA(3.26MB .jpeg)

Storm Hole

Detail Trip Report  Storm Hole  @Susquehanna River Holtwood, PA(79.14KB .jpeg)

Gauge Information

We have no additional information about how various flows affect runnability (or playability) of this section of river. If you can provide additional information, please either directly contact the StreamTeam member for this reach, or add a 'comment' or a 'report' with your information to help out your fellow boaters.

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, PA
usgs-01570500 6.00 - 12.00 ft III+ 00h40m 4.2 ft (too low)

RangeWater LevelDifficultyComment
6.00 -12.00 ft barely runnable-high runnable III+

Report - Reports of Susquehanna River Holtwood and related gauges

Reports give the public a chance to report on river conditions throughout the country as well as log the history of a river.


When River/Gauge Subject Level Reporter
Susquehanna River [PA] Steve Graybill below Holtwood Dam n/a Kristen Podolak
Susquehanna RiverHoltwood [PA] Unnamed Holtwood Wave n/a Kevin Colburn
2y28d16h53m /Susquehanna River-Holtwood [PA] Storm Hole n/a Tony Morrell
9y168d01h39m Susquehanna River [pa] Holtwood Dam and Downstream n/a Kevin Colburn
9y168d01h39m Susquehanna [PA] Upper Piney Channel - Holtwood n/a Kevin Colburn
> 10 years Susquehanna [PA] Storm Hole moderate Jeremy Laucks



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Associated News

Holtwood Public Meetings Planned for April (PA)
April 8, 2008

New Project Threatens Holtwood Playspots (PA)
March 28, 2006

Agreement in Principle Reached on the Susquehanna (PA)
April 16, 2008

Dam Owner Pulls Plug On Holtwood Expansion (PA)
December 9, 2008

Holtwood Project Back on the Table (PA)
April 13, 2009

Final Holtwood Plan Ready For Federal Approval (PA)
January 3, 2012

Wave Construction at Holtwood (PA) Begins
August 9, 2012

Holtwood Whitewater Park to Open in 2015 (PA)
December 15, 2014

Associated Projects

 Holtwood, Susquehanna River Pennsylvania, US (mobile)