The section of the Stonycreek between Carpenter’s Park Bridge and Greenhouse Park is often referred to as the “Lower Stony” This is an easier and shorter section than the Canyon and is often used for beginner trips. It can be run anytime the Canyon is runnable; although at 450 cfs this section gets scrappy at the end. Unfortunately, there is no warm up except in the water under the Carpenter’s Park bridge. It starts with about a 1/4 mile stretch of class II water (with few good eddies), a short breather, and a class III (the only one on the river) rapid under the Rt 219 bridge. After this there a handful of mainly class II rapids and riffles as you paddle down to Tire Hill. About 1/2 mile below the Tire Hill bridge there is a pipeline that can be tricky in high water, stay right. Below that is Greenhouse Park and the take-out. This section is relatively easy for people in whitewater boats and some experience; but inexperienced paddlers are tempted to paddle it in flatwater boats and often swim. Also note that when the Stony is high (above 4′ on the Carpenter’s Park bridge) this section also gets bigger and harder.
See the Benscreek Canoe Club Stonycreek Watershed Page.
For other streams in this watershed, check out:Stony Canyon (III-IV)Roaring Fork (IV)Shade Creek (III-IV)Paint Creek (V)Dark Shade Creek (IV-V)Clear Shade Creek (III)Conemaugh River (I-II)Quemahoning Creek (III)Little Conemaugh River - North (II-III)Little Conemaugh River - South (II-III)Little Conemaugh River (II-III(V))
Put-in is on river right just below the Carpenter Park bridge.
Directly below the 219 bridge, the river bends from left to right. Here you will find a nice sized wave train and holes, with some rock features on river left that the river will push you towards.
Further downstream, the river will start to narrow into a channel a bit with a steep cliff face on the river left side. As the river narrows down, a wave train will form, with a couple of good sized holes in there. This rapid is named for the graffiti on the rocks on river left at the end of the rapid.
About 1/2 mile below the Tire Hill bridge there is a pipeline that can be tricky in high water, stay far right. There is an easy slide over there to run.
Man-made whitewater park at the takeout that has several features to work on paddling skills, and a nice wide surf hole.
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This past fall American Whitewater met with Ohiopyle State Park managers to discuss possible updates to their whitewater paddling regulations. The first topic was to change the rules governing raft sizes at different water levels to recognize the capabilities of self-bailing rafts. Shorter self-bailing boats will now be allowed to run the river at high water. Some small changes to the regulations will make Ohiopyle Falls more accessible to paddlers. A change in the way the gauge is interpreted should make the falls "legal" on more days. Although whitewater paddlers are only one part of the vast public that visits the park, every effort was made to accommodate them while avoiding user conflicts and safety hazards. Special thanks goes to Ken Bisbee, Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager and John Hallas, a former Ohiopyle State Park Operations Manager who is now Director of State Parks. Click here to read the updated Ohiopyle River Regulations:
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