HazardsThis section can sometimes collect wood around blind turns. Be on the lookout for strainers in fast water.
GaugeThere is no USGS gauge for this section. You need to look at the painted gauge on the bridge abutment at the put-in. Note that the white, metal gauge there is graded in tenths of a foot, not inches. 0-4" is about minimum, depending on who you ask. 4-10" is fun Class III. Above 10" and the run starts to get fairly continuous, with few pools, smaller eddies, and the water up in the rhododendrons lining the creek.
Boulder garden just above the cabin on river-right.
Series of curler waves that end in a nice play wave at low-medium levels just below the cabin.
As the river makes a sharp right hand turn just below Swimmer's (and the giant rock cairn), a big hole feature forms that is nearly river wide. You can sneak it on the right, or try to square up and punch it.
Small, swirling eddy on river left as the river makes a sharp right-hand turn.
An even bigger swirling eddy on river left, just as the river makes a sharp right-hand turn. This eddy isn't difficult to get into, but make sure you have a good ferry angle to get out, or risk getting slammed into the big rock on river left.
Just downstream, the river makes a sharp left-hand turn. This is called Gum Drop. The roostertail and weird eddy lines can sometimes flip an unsuspecting boater. Usually most run the turn on the far left to avoid carnage.
Nice play/surf spot, and good place to take a short break.
Boulder garden at the beginning of a left-hand turn that often collects wood. The standard line is through the wide channel on river left, though there is line through the boulders on river right. Just make sure it is clear, since the entry is a bit blind.
This hole doesn't look like much from upstream, but partway down this flat, straight section is a very sticky hole with a low horizon line on river right, stretching out about 2/3 of the way across. It has kept boats and swimmers. Stay river left to avoid any issues.
Just below the next big swirling eddy is a short rapid called Pyramid. This is considered by many to be the crux rapid on this stretch. You can run it river right, or stay river left and boof off the pyramid rock at the bottom, which gives the rapid its name sake.
Just below Pyramid, the next rapid is defined by two big boulders on the right blocking the way, and an easy to navigate channel on the left. If you're feeling sporty, boof through the slot between the two boulders and into the big eddy.
Sharp left turn just as the creek joins up to run along Rt. 53.
If you look carefully to the left side, there is a small hidden channel that flows through a tunnel of rhodendrons that will transport you to Hobbiton, before joining back up with the main channel. Be on the lookout for wood in this section.
Right before the takeout, the creek makes a sharp right turn, followed immediately by a sharp left turn. On the river left side of this rapid, there is a series of large flat rocks (table rocks). On the river right side of the left turn, there is an overhanging (live) tree. This tree has caught and flipped many boaters.
At low flows, hug the right shore with a left angle, and try to catch the eddy behind Table Rock. At higher flows, you can run directly over Table Rock and avoid the overhanging sweeper altogether.
Ran this today at 6/10 on the put in bridge gauge and it is a creeking treasure!
4" on the put-in bridge is a minimal level for an enjoyable run, although the Black gets run at lower levels. At 4", the right side of Pyramid is pretty boney, so try the center left route. Thanks for taking out the strainer -- the last rapids tends to collect wood.
Ran the final 3.8 miles twice on Sat. April 30 @ 10" on the putin bridge gauge, Beech Creek @ 8.3'
Ran Sun May 1 @ 8" , Beech Creek @ 7.6' These were good levels. Both Beech Creek readings were on a falling gauge. Cut out a river wide strainer just above the takeout. There was one other strainer on this section it is easily seen and easily avoided.
There really isn't a reliable gauge on the internet for
the Black. You have to go look at it. There is a
gauge on the river right side of the bridge just below
the put-in. We've run it below 0 on that gauge, but
we were jonesin'. 4"-6" is worth the trip out here.
...................................Cory~ Beech Creek at 880 cfs and the gauge on the bridge was 4.5
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Paddlers on the Lehigh River below the Francis E. Walter Dam and Reservoir are concerned that a planned study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will lead to a reduction in whitewater boating opportunities on the Lehigh. The study will evaluate the feasibility of various alternatives to optimize project operation. Aside from the project's authorized primary missions of flood risk management and recreation, the study will also consider water supply and water quality, to identify possible improvements to the existing structure, infrastructure, and operations that will support current and future demands within the region. The Army Corps is holding a public meeting on January 9, 2020 at the Mountain Laurel Resort in White Haven, PA from 6-8 p.m. to explain the study and hear public comments. American Whitewater, Appalachian Mountain Club, and other organizations are expected to file comments with the Army Corps prior to the September 29th deadline in order to share our concerns about the study and potential impacts on boating, the outdoor recreation economy, and the Delaware RIver Basin. We encourage our members to attend the public meeting to voice their concerns.
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