Ohiopyle Falls Guidelines for 2012
American Whitewater requested that Ohiopyle Falls Access Guidelines be updated for the current year. We are also waiting for a response to our request to increase the Falls season through the autumn Launch Booth closure date of Sunday October 7, 2012. What follows are the Park guidelines for this year, 2012.
Private Boater Ohiopyle Falls Access Guidelines
1. Prior to launching for each falls run, all boaters must register at the Lower Youghiogheny Launch Booth on SR 381. A launch permit, governed by the private boater quota reservation system, is required during applicable periods.
2. Water Level must be 1.8 feet or below on the USGS Gage at the Lower Youghiogheny Launch in Ohiopyle.
3. Using the Lower Youghiogheny Launch to take-out is prohibited. The falls becomes the first rapid in the loop and boaters shall continue down river and take-out either at the Loop Take-Out on Ferncliff or Bruner Run Take-Out.
4. The Falls will be open for runs beginning on the Third Saturday in May through the Second Sunday in September between 8:30 am and 2:30 pm, with the last permit being sold at 2:15pm: No permits will be sold after 2:15pm. The launch window will run from third Saturday in May to second Sunday in September (corresponds to 7-days a week manned Lower Yough Launch Area Operations).
5. Access (put-in) will be from the river right shore only (Ferncliff side). Boaters access the river right put in via Ferncliff trail. The put in is mark with a sign and is located downstream of the buoy line anchor points. Access will be prohibited from the Falls Day-Use Area (river left) except during Falls Running Events governed by Special Activities Agreements.
6. Boaters are prohibited from running Ohiopyle Falls alone (solo boater/party of one). Minimum group size is three. 2nd or 3rd boaters do not have to run the falls and is/are included for the minimum group size for providing safety from shore (above or below) or boat (below) the falls. Shore safeties shall wear a PFD, helmet and have a throw bag to effectively execute a rescue.
7. Only single and double occupancy kayaks and canoes designed and fully outfitted for whitewater use are permissible. Unguided Liveries/Rental Craft are prohibited. Rafts are prohibited.
8. Boaters may scout the falls from beyond the warning signs during open hours but must wear PFD and helmet at all times.