Susquehanna River - Marietta to Columbia

Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, US


Marietta to Columbia

Usual Difficulty II(IV) (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, PA
usgs-01570500 3.50 - 6.00 ft II(IV) 01h05m 7.7 ft (too high)

River Description

The lesser known option on the Susquehanna. This completes the series of rapids that makes the Susquehanna playable at pretty much any level. Best from about 4.5 to 5.5 feet.
This is a great stretch to work on eddy-turns, peel-outs, and all that stuff between 3.5 and 4.5 feet. There is also good surfing right above and around the Rte. 30 bridge. As the river rises, some better playspots come in. At 5 feet, there is two smaller spinning holes, a nice wave, and a fairly deep pourover on river left right next to Chickies Rock. As the river gets higher, the wave and pourover wash out and the better playspots are found downriver at Holtwood.

To get to the Put-In:
It's off Rte. 441; if you are coming from Route 30, it's about 2 miles off the exit. Take 441 North until you reach the Chickies Rock Day Use area. Immediately after you cross over Chickies Creek, turn left into the gravel/macadam road that leads into the parking lot. Make a U-turn and park in the flat section of road right next to the grassy trail. To get to the river, follow the trail until it forks in about 5 directions, and ultimately follow the creek until you reach the opening to get to the river.
An alternate put-in is in the town of Marietta, at the town park right next to the river. Continue on Rte. 441 until the traffic light, make a left at the light. Follow that road for a short distance, then turn left onto Bank St. Turn right onto Front St, and follow that until you see the road that crosses the railroad tracks. This put-in adds about 1 mile or so of flatwater.

The Take-Out:

At higher levels, the stuff below the waves is almost not worth heading down to, so one option is to attain back up to your car, which takes about 10-15 mintues and a little work. I've done it in a Jib, so it can be done.
The other option is to head back towards Columbia following Rte. 441 South back through town. Then turn right onto Rte. 462 and head across the bridge. After crossing the bridge, turn left onto Front St. and find the parking lot at the John Wright Factory. This take-out is the better option at lower levels.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2010-11-28 22:40:56

Rapid Descriptions

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