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Difficulty II(IV)
Length 2 Miles
Gauge Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, PA
Flow Range 3.50 - 6.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 5.43 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 11/28/2010 10:40 pm

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.

Rapid Descriptions


Summary of Gauge Readings

This stretch can be done lower than 4 feet, but in all reality, a better stretch lies upstream of it at "The Wave" and at the Dauphin Narrows. Likewise, above 6 feet most of the stuff is washed out, and Holtwood is going

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, PA
AW Gauge Info
5.43 ft 01h06m n/a

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.


No Accident Reports



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PA's Susquehanna Riverbank Closed by Norfolk Southern Railroad

2001-07-03 00:00:00-04
Jason Robertson

The Lancaster New Era reported on June 27, 2001 that Norfolk Southern closed public access along 45 miles of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, PA. Six public access points remain open along this section, but the decision closes shoreside access to the river for fishermen, waders, and some boaters.
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Ohiopyle State Park Updates River Regulations

2018-03-30 14:00:00-04
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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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Pennsylvania Dam Removal Conference to be Held January 31st.

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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.

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Chris Preperato