Loyalsock Creek - 2. US 220 to Forksville

Loyalsock Creek, Pennsylvania, US


2. US 220 to Forksville (Lower Loyalsock)

Usual Difficulty I-IV (for normal flows)
Length 13 Miles
Avg. Gradient 45 fpm
Max Gradient 60 fpm

Normal Line on the Haystacks

Normal Line on the Haystacks
Photo of Phantomboater by Jamie McGuire taken 03/09/03 @ 4.72'

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Loyalsock Creek at Loyalsockville, PA
usgs-01552000 3.50 - 8.00 ft I-IV 00h51m 2.01 ft (too low)

River Description

Kevin Colburn posted an Access Alert on 2004-03-15:
PLEASE park on the upstream side of the Route 220 bridge! A landowner on the downstream side of the bridge has politely requested that paddlers use the other side because too many people have begun parking on the downstream side. Let's maintain this good relationship with the landowner and park on the upstream side!

Robert Mac Dowell shared:
One other thing that needs mentioning is the top notch play holes as you enter the park area, just below the bridge to the cabins. These are first-class play holes, so save some energy for the last 1/2 mile.

jeff mitchell shared:

To be honest, I've never paddled the Loyalsock, but I'm very familiar with the creek. The premier whitewater section is between the U.S. 220 bridge and Forksville; there is a damn at Worlds End State Park you may be required to portage. The most famous rapids are the Haystacks, IV+ (possible V in high water) which are large Burgoon boulders around which the creek swirls and drops a couple of feet--it is a very technical rapid. It is located about 2-3 miles downstream from the 220 bridge. It's a popular swimming area in the summer.
There is also some trout fishing as you near Worlds End. There is another Class-IV rapid a few miles downstream. Most rapids are II-III+, there aren't many large pools, the creek is almost always dropping. Average gradient is 40-45 fpm, max is 60 fpm. Because there are no hydro dams on the Loyalsock, you must wait for the creek (actually the size of a small river) to rise naturally. The best times are during the spring snowmelt or isolated periods in the fall. The gauge on this website is near the mouth of the Loyalsock and is not accurate for the portion of the creek b/w 220 and Forksville. The Loyalsock is a very beautiful stream. It flows through an undeveloped, isolated gorge where there are many waterfalls, vistas, cliffs and rock formations. It has carved an "S" shaped gorge at Worlds End about 800 feet deep. It is a place well worth your visit. I believe there are kayak competitions in or around Worlds End in early spring.

jeff mitchell also posted:
More info...

the 'Sock b/w US 220 and Forksville is generally runnable when the gauge at Loyalsockville reads 4.5 feet. Access to the creek is not as critical an issue as w/ some streams. If you want to run the Haystacks (ouch!) you'll have to put in at the US 220 bridge in Ringdale. There is private property around the bridge, but a put-in shouldn't be too difficult. If it happens to be difficult, drive .8 miles south of the bridge along 220, turn right onto Meade Rd. and park at the Loyalsock Trail parking area--this is now public land. You'll have to carry to the stream down a steep, rocky, but manageable bank to the creek. If you have no desire to run the Haystacks, there is a 2nd access. Where 220 passes Laporte, follow 154 a few miles to Rock Run Rd., which will be on your right; this rd crosses the creek and offers a 2nd access. Worlds End is the usual take-out.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2004-08-20 11:35:50

Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
November 1 2012 (2271 days ago)
Elijah Evans (155014)
Elijah Evans Warring 10/31/12 - The Haystacks rapid has large log in the main drop
May 15 2006 (4633 days ago)
Phil FisherDetails
5/14/06...The recommended minimum level of 5.0' (usgs Loyalsockville) is too high. We've been
running the Loyalsock at levels around 4.0' for years. After Hurricane Ivan struck in September,
2004 we noticed a definite change in the runnable level. In fact we paddled from above S-Bend to
Worlds End Park yesterday at a reported usgs level of 3.1' with little scrapiness and playable
waves and holes in the park. The park bridge level was below scale; we estimated it to be around
2.8'. Certainly the Loyalsock is more fun at higher levels but still runnable down to about 3.0'
For a more detailed description of the Loyalsock, check out: