Slate Run, Pennsylvania, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||54 fpm|
|Max Gradient||80 fpm|
|Pine Creek at Cedar Run, PA|
|usgs-01548500||3.80 - 7.50 ft||II-III||00h47m||3.32 ft (too low)|
Slate Run is one of the most beautiful and fun creeks you will ever paddle. The whole run is through a mini gorge with numerous side stream waterfalls entering a lush verdent forrest. There are enough hemlocks and pines to keep it reasonably green even in winter. The initial section from the picnic area to the bridge has numerous surfing waves and small holes. You can do flat spins but not too much vertical stuff. After the bridge the number of surfing spots declines slightly but Slate picks up some flow from Morris Run there.
A couple miles past the bridge you will encounter place where the creek narrows and turns slightly to the right here and the river left side is cliff-like and there is a horizon line. This marks a a 7 ft drop with a hole at the bottom that throws boats rapidly to the right where there is a slightly undercut wall. . I would recommend scouting this drop as a log can easily block the chute (as happened on my last trip) or can be recirculating in the pool below (as the log did after we dislodged it from our path). This drop is probably a class 3+ at most commonly run levels. It has flipped several pretty good boaters that I know and pushed them into the wall.
The scenery is great to the end but the rapids and surfing deminish slightly as you approach the village of Slate Run. When you get there you will probably have time for another run and Cedar Run runs paralell to Slate only a few miles to the north; Stony Fork, Babb and Cross Fork are also relatively nearby. For more information, see Keystone Canoeing by Gertler.