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Difficulty II(III)
Length 4.8 Miles
Gauge Codorus Creek at Pleasureville, PA
Flow Range 290 - 1500 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago ~ 177 [CFS] ℹ️
Reach Info Last Updated 03/22/2019 11:13 am

River Description

River Description:


The Codorus Creek is also called the inky stinky Codorus, because there is definitiely an unpleasant smell and taste to the water. For one, PH Gladfelter (pulp and paper company) dumps "treated process" water into the Codorus Creek miles upstream.  This gives the water the light chocolate color. In addition, directly below the PA-24 bridge, a waste water treatment plant dumps treated water into the Codorus from river right. The water quality is acceptable for plant and fish (according to PA DEP), however a few people have gotten sick from taking in two much water on this creek. At lower levels, the Creek definitely smells, at higher levels it is not as noticeable.

With all that said the creek is still a fun beginner to intermediate level creek.

Put In

From the South, on I-83 North - Take exit 22 to PA-181 North George Street.  Go 1.8 miles North on PA-181, then turn right onto Emig Road.  From the North, on I-83 South - Take exit 24 to PA-238 East toward Emigsville and go one mile.  Turn right onto PA-181 and follow it for 0.4 miles then turn left onto Emig Road.   Both:  Follow Emig Road for 0.6 miles, then turn left onto Mundis Race Road.  After about 0.8 miles arrive at John Rudy Park.  Look for parking at the Administrative area of the park and walk your boat to Codorus creek on the other side of Mundis Race Road.  The old put-in at the Sewage Treatment plant has been closed and marked "No Parking" by the plant operators.  


From the Put In at John Rudy Park, go east on Mundis Race Road for about 0.5 miles.  Turn left (North) onto PA Rt 24 (Sherman Street Extended) and go for approximately 4 miles. You will come to a tee in the road. Turn Right onto Codorus Furnace Road. Follow this road for approx. 3 miles. You will go down a hill and at the bottom you will cross over the Codorus Creek at the take out bridge. After you cross over the take out bridge turn right, continuing on Codorus Furnace Road and travel another 50 yards. Parking is available on your left at the stone Codorus Furnace.

Major Rapids:

The first mile is mostly flat water.

Entrance (II)

The first rapid has no name, but lets call it "Entrance" (If you know another name comment below).  It starts out with a nice little surfing hole at the top (on river left) of the sloping rapid. at the bottom of the rapid, catch the river right eddy and try your luck at the surfing wave/hole attached to this eddy.

Buckshot Rapid (III-)

This Rapid can be run straight down the center, boofing off the rock in the middle. At higher levels (>York, 4.3 ft; Pleasantville, 840 cfs), there is a slightly sticky hole below the boof rock.  You can also run a fun slot move on river right from the top and then work back into the center flow and catch the boof rock.  This rapid got its name because shotgun pellets from above can rain down on the river.  There is a shooting range (clay pigeons) on top of the canyon wall.  It is a little unnerving when it happens and you don't know why.  Don't worry, no one has been hurt by the pellets.

Upper Dees Rapid(III)

Start this rapid in the center, drop over the first ledge and try to catch the left or right eddy. In the next drop is a rock that has water rooster tailing off of it. This rock is not a big concern and at or above 400 cfs can be paddled over; but to avoid it set right angle and go to river right.  Below the first set of right and left eddies is a second set of right and left eddies that allows you to surf a river wide wave.  Below this is a large rock with a channel (slot) running through it.  Most paddlers go to the right of the rock, but going left or through the center slot are options.  The hardest move is going through the rock.  A slightly sticky hole is on the other side of the center slot.  On the river right side of the rock , you can try your luck with stern squirts and cartwheels of the edge of the rock.  

Lower Dees Rapid(III)

Lower Dees is separated from Upper Dees by a moving water pool of about 100 yards, in which Dees Run comes in from river right.  Start this rapid in the center and work right. You can catch the river left eddy in front of the huge rock in the center of the river and from this eddy, you can surf a small dynamic wave.  When you peel out of this eddy, you need to work towards river right so you do not get hung up on the rock.  Below this is a pool.  This a neat little falls.

Trout Run Rapid or Dead Dog(II-)

This is a minor rapid, but it has an awesome squirt line on river left behind a sloping rock. You will know you are there because on river right there is a huge rock sticking out of the bank and Trout Run comes in from the right behind this rock.

For more information, see Keystone Canoeing by Gertler, E.

Rapid Descriptions


Gage Descriptions

York Gauge in feet:  2.3 feet on York Gauge correlates to approximately 0 ft on the put in gauge located on the river left downstream adbument of the bridge. 2.3 ft is my minimum, some people will run it lower than that, but not much lower.  4.3 feet on York Gauge correlates to approximately 2.0 ft on the put in gauge. Above 5.0 feet on York Gauge would increase the overall river difficulty to Class III.  I'm not sure the highest level ever run, I've run it as high as 6.2 ft on York Gauge. At that level I would rate the river difficulty as Class IV.  

Because the Pleasureville gauge in cfs is more used by paddlers for this run and because York 4.3 seemed to be the top of medium runnable rather than the top of high runnable, the gauge has been changed to Pleasureville in cfs 280 - 400 low runnable; 400-840 cfs medium runnable; and 840-1280 cfs high runnable.  


Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

Date Flow Result Factor  
1995-04-30 Low Near Miss/Rescue Inexperience Read More
1990-07-30 n/a n/a Other Read More




article main photo

Pennsylvania Dam Removal Conference to be Held January 31st.

Kevin Colburn

There will be a one day conference on January 31st in eastern Pennsylvania that will address dam removal and rehabilitation in the state and region. It is likely that this very affordable conference would be helpful to paddlers interested in working on dam removal projects in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Registration for the conference is due by January 23rd.

Tony Allred Jr


Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1210196 08/08/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-8-2018 - minor edit to gauge description
1209792 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1209793 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1209798 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1210197 08/08/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-8-2018 - minor edit to gauge description
1209177 04/07/18 Tony Allred Jr 4-7-2018 - edited description to change put-in due to old put-in closure
1209178 04/07/18 Tony Allred Jr 4-7-2018 - edited description to change put-in due to old put-in closure
1210198 08/08/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-8-2018 - minor edit to gauge description
1210199 08/08/18 Tony Allred Jr 7-8-2018 - minor edit to gauge description
1209179 04/07/18 Tony Allred Jr 4-15-2018 - small edit/cleanup
1209791 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1210201 08/09/18 Tony Allred Jr 8-8-2018 - cleanup
1209794 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1209795 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1209797 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1209796 06/10/18 Tony Allred Jr 6-8-2018 - cleanup
1210202 08/09/18 Tony Allred Jr 8-8-2018 - cleanup
1210203 08/09/18 Tony Allred Jr 8-8-2018 - cleanup
1211495 03/22/19 Tony Allred Jr updated description
1208928 02/17/18 Tony Allred Jr 2-17-2018 - cleanup
1209044 03/08/18 Tony Allred Jr 3-4-2018 - cleanup
1191389 08/08/01 n/a 2-17-2018 - Changed to pleasantville gauge, cfs, and divided into high/medium/low runnable
1209059 03/14/18 Tony Allred Jr 3-15-2018 - minor corrections to lower runnable/medium runnable/high runnable
1209063 03/17/18 Tony Allred Jr 3-15-2018 - cleanup
1209064 03/17/18 Tony Allred Jr 4-2-2018 - small edit/cleanup