Description: This run starts in Portage PA, up 164 across the street from The Last Chance Tavern. It will require a lot of rain or snow melt to have it run. It is one of the main pollutant's to the Little Conemaugh river and is essentially an old mining river. Along its sulpheric banks old mining foundations and buildings can be seen, even active untreated AMD sites.
Scouted at 8Kcfs on the Little Conemaugh gauge, deemed runable. It appears you can put in up in Martindale too, but it is very Micro in that area, and probably has a lot of vegetation. There are also a few hazards one should be aware of. Strainers also need removed but probably passable (as of Dec. 2016). There is a foundation of an old mine and also a pipe that crosses the stream after the first mile. Also river walls come into play throughout the town of Portage.
The creek appears to run on the higher side of a continous class 3 adventure with very minimal eddies in the first 1.75 miles of the run. I would class it up to 4 only due to some of the hazards but most still seemed runable. I have a video I will link in the bottom of the scout.
There also doesn't appear to be any real "rapids" just seems like one big continous rapid from put-in until Portage, so about a miles worth of straight gradient. Mile 1 seems continuous class 3/4, mile 2 would class it down and especially through town where it seems to become more class 2 continous than anything. Final stretch is more than likely class 2 continous until Little Conemaugh river, I only scouted to where Kane run came in.
When to paddle:The Little Conemaugh river's season ranges from March - June. It is runnable however all year long after rainfall, but does not hold water as well as the Stonycreek. This stream will run on a high day after intense rainfall and snow melt. I believe we took on 2 inches of rain and it ran after some (3 inches) of snow melt. When the Little Conemaugh gauge is above 3k, I would imagine this is probably running, but due to the way gauges work on the Little Conemaugh, the trout run gauge isn't one that updates itself but does have an active gauge on it.
Release timing: There are no releases on this reach, however there is a resevoir's upstream.
Hazards: Aside from the major pollution (Acid Mine Drainage) there are some areas where old mining foundations are in the creek, as well as an older pipe that crosses the creek right before Portage. Strainers need removed and the river walls in Portage may be hazardous, but it seems through town it is class 2 continous, easily avoidable.
Directions: You can put in across the road down an old mining road that has parking across from The Last Chance tavern in Portage off of route 164.
Shuttle:Shuttle can be run a few ways with three different take outs, though Mineral Point is traditional takeout.
A: Park at Red's Bar and Grille off of route 53. Once Trout Run enters the Little Conemaugh river, you can hike up the hill back to your car.
B: Park at the Portage Football Stadium, take 53 to 164, 164 becomes main street and near the post office, you will face an S turn through town, stay straight as you past the post office on the left and continue down Caldwell Avenue until you see the parking lot for the football field. The creek is on the right side.
C: Parking access off of route 160 near tanner lumber after the railroad tunnel in Wilmore. There is a nice parking lot here that we use for river access on the Little Conemaugh river north section.
Tavern put-in: 40.371569, -78.659580
Portage Field Access: 40.388228, -78.683505
Reds BBQ: 40.392754, -78.689856Wilmore Access: 40.385169, -78.718819
Put In: 1885.2
Take Out: 1575.2
Total Drop: 1885.2 - 1575.2 = 310ft
Mile 1: 1885.2 - 1741.1 = 144ft
Mile 2: 1741.1 - 1629.1 = 121ft
Mile 3: 1620.1 - 1575.2 = 45ft
Scouting Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1eqUupMV2g
For other streams in this watershed, check out:
Stony Canyon (III-IV)Stony Gorge (IV)Roaring Fork (IV)Shade Creek (III-IV)Paint Creek (V)Dark Shade Creek (IV-V)Clear Shade Creek (III)Quemahoning Creek (III)Little Conemaugh River - North (II-III)Little Conemaugh River - South (II-III)Benscreek - Portage (IV-V)
This section has some ledge drops, nothing major, but is swift all the way down.
Total drop of 144 feet.
From the put-in to this point the run has mostly a rural feel to it, being largely flanked by tree-lined shore. However, as you approach the intersection of Johnson Avenue and Main Street, the character changes dramatically. The next section of the run is vertical walled, flanked by homes and business, and spanned by numerous road bridges (seven in less-than a half-mile).
Class it down to primarily class 2/3, it still continous down until the ballfield
Caldwell Avenue will be the final road bridge you'll encounter on the run. The stream will parallel the road a bit, then pass a few more businesses and backyards before (at about mile 1.9-2.0) returning to a more 'wilderness' feel.
At mile 2.32, Trout Run encounters (and becomes) Kane Run. Almost immediately after this confluence, you'll pass through a (fairly) long tunnel under a triple-railroad-track.
At the confluence with the Little Conemaugh River, you can paddle across to take-out (Red's BBQ has a huge lot, and should be a great place for post-run food and beverage) or continue downstream to lengthen your run, using whatever parking and access point you may be able to find.
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Permits are not required for this reach.
You can put in across the road down an old mining road that has parking across from The Last Chance tavern in Portage off of route 164.
Shuttle can be run a few ways with three different take outs, though Mineral Point is traditional takeout.
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