Neshannock Creek - Neshannock Gorge

Neshannock Creek, Pennsylvania, US


Neshannock Gorge (Neshannock Falls rapids)

Usual Difficulty I-II (for normal flows)
Length 2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 22 fpm
Max Gradient 24 fpm

Neshannock Falls

Neshannock Falls
Photo of Steve Zerefos by M. Zerefos (KHCC)

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Slippery Rock Creek at Wurtemburg, PA
usgs-03106500 1800 - 4000 cfs I-II 00h47m 559 cfs (too low)

River Description

The Neshannock Gorge is an interesting class II run with about 8 rapids in one mile. The put-in is at the covered bridge on Covered Bridge Road, north of state route 956. Another possibility when the water levels are really up is to put in at Volant and float an extra 2 miles of class I-II before you reach the covered bridge. You can take out at the new bridge where 956 draws near the creek, or continue on another 5 miles downstream at the parking area off Maitland Road. The stream starts out slow, with some class I riffles. Then it passes under the 956 bridge, then into the woods, where it turns right and passes between two old stone bridge abutments. The rapids start at this right turn, with the biggest rapid (Neshannock Falls) only 50 yards downstream. (Note that the hole at the end of Neshannock Falls may become retentive at higher water levels.) Some of the rapids are eroded ledges with big old boulders to dodge, then there are some long wave train sections, where the creek drops steadily.

One of the neat things about this run is how isolated it feels. You're down in a narrow wooded valley with no roads or buildings visible after the 956 bridge. The first time I paddled here it was a solo run, and as I passed between the old bridge abutments I looked up to see a group of Amish watching me float by. This is also a stocked trout stream, so it can have a bunch of fishermen near the bridges in season.

This run is located within private land, so there is no legal camping on the creek. There is a private campground near Hope Mills, 5 miles northeast, or near Mercer.

Jan 2006 update: The nice surf wave just upstream from the take-out bridge is blocked. A group of trees slid into the creek right at the wave & obliterated it. It's going to take a huge water event to have any hope of flushing them out - I'll update again if it happens.
StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2007-03-14 20:45:07


Rapid Descriptions

icon of message No rapids entered. If you know names, and locations of the rapids please contact and advise the StreamTeam member for this run.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
January 8 2013 (2163 days ago)
pisaac (153710)
as of 1/1/13 the run is all clear
April 27 2009 (3515 days ago)
x (1)
Tree is still blocking the hole in the rapid

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