There's a lot of gradient in the first few miles, then the Gorge levels off a bit. Scout the first significant rapid, about 0.4 miles below the covered bridge. There's a boulder garden that collects bad, ugly wood.
Be really careful at high water. The run becomes continuous Class V, with very few eddies. It's nasty enough to surprise experienced paddlers. There was a fatality in 1999 under those conditions. Also see Art Vaughn's cautionary trip report.
Directions: To the put-in: from Rte. 30, take S.R. 1007 about 4 miles to T-565; take a right turn to the covered bridge. Take out at the Rte. 30 bridge or upstream at Mostoller bridge.
See the Benscreek Canoe Club Stonycreek Watershed Page.
For other streams in this watershed, check out:Stony Canyon (III-IV)Roaring Fork (IV)Shade Creek (III-IV)Paint Creek (V)Dark Shade Creek (IV-V)Clear Shade Creek (III)Conemaugh River (I-II)Quemahoning Creek (III)Little Conemaugh River - North (II-III)Little Conemaugh River - South (II-III)Little Conemaugh River (II-III(V))
Crew of us ran it on 1/14/17 with Stony Ferndale gauge showing 4.97', and the bridge gauge at takeout showing -2". It was low. Wouldn't want to run it any lower, the last 2 miles or so were a bit rough. Passable, but rough.
Log jam at first right turn wasn't too bad. Looks like it had been chainsawed recently. Strainers were minimal, but a few trees in some lines. Keep an eye out.
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Directions from Robert Farmer: Here's how I found it: From Pennsylvania Turnpike, take Exit 110 at Somerset. From the exit at the toll plaza, go straight across the intersection, then make a left to 281 north. Take this to Friedens. At the pizza restaurant (Cheryl's?), turn east (right) on Welsh Hill Road. Go 4.4 miles. Turn left (north) on Stutzmantown Road. Go 1.6 miles to Shanksville and the put-in bridge. From here, drive north toward Lambertville (there's a left turn just past the bridge in Shanksville) for 4.1 miles, past the Flight 93 monument. Turn left on Pompey Road and drive 1.5 miles to the bridge at Mostoller. The only identifying sign here is the word Mostoller on a small railroad company shed/shack next to the railroad tracks. Probably, it is possible to drive directly from 281 to Mostoller, but I did not check it out.
This is a video of the Gorge section. The canyon was running at 6.20' at ferndale and the covered bridge gauge was 1.4'
Minimum runnable level from the Monocacy Canoe Club's Ranked list of Rivers of 5.0' at Ferndale, which seems to correlate to 1,200 cfs (again at Ferndale). The Ferndale gage is a half day downstream on the Stonycreek, and thus must be used as a very rough guide only. You have to do a look-see to see if it's really running.
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