The Shohola is an odd river. It begins with a runnable (with multiple lines) 70ft waterfall/cascade. Then goes through a box canyon with class III to IV water for most of it's 1/2 mile length. Then, after another 1/2 mile or so of good whitewater, it goes through a very flat period where flatwater paddling is interspersed with a ledge occasionally. Finally, it finishes with some good slides and another box canyon with a good drop as it's entrance. The scenery is beautiful at times and nice the rest of the time. It's a fun creek.
It does pick up wood however, so keep your eyes ahead and scout the box canyons from the rim (if possible) before entering. This is easy on the first one (there's a trail along the rim on river right), and not too difficult from river right on the second one.
This run can be a longish day, so get on early in the winter, when the days are short.
Most people only run the top box now. It's the most bang for your buck. Just carry up the trail on river right and repeat offend. Hiking out from this run if someone gets hurt can be tedious, look at the map before you get on.
Put-in: Put-in is typically on river right below the dam (to run the falls) or below the falls to run the top box. If you don't want to run the falls, or the top box, you'll want to put-in on river right, downstream of Rt. 6. Park in the small gravel parking lot on the upstream, river right side of Rt. 6. Cross Rt. 6 and follow the path on river right until you see a place where you can get to the water.
If you are planning on running the top box (but not the falls) follow the scenic trail along the river right side of the falls, then head down the gully which leads to the base of the falls. Watch out for ice in the winter and early spring.
There is a lot of private land around here so be careful when scouting. Once a group of us was paddling on a rare, warm sunny day in April and we came around a bend to find a man naked on his lawn, sunning himself. He was a little surprised to see 7 of us paddle by.
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5 years ago
by Carin Tinney
The gauge on the Bushkill at Shoemakers gives a good correlation, but the Shohola drains a large swampy area above the lake and will generally stay up longer than The Bushkill. Sometimes for many days longer.
Permits are not required for this reach.
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Shahola Falls - Left Line
Upper Gorge, Shohola Creek
Thumbnail of Vertical Line at Shohola Falls
Shohola vertical line
The First "Box Canyon"
Surf on the Shohola
Put-In at the end of the first gorge
Upper box on Shohola Creek
Raingauge Map for Shohola Cr.
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
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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