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Difficulty I-II
Length 2 Miles
Gauge Slippery Rock Creek at Wurtemburg, PA
Flow Range 1800 - 4000 CFS
Flow Rate as of: 58 minutes ago 711 [CFS]
Reach Info Last Updated 03/14/2007 8:45 pm

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.

Rapid Descriptions


default user thumbnail
9 years ago

Tree is still blocking the hole in the rapid

default user thumbnail
paul isaac
6 years ago

as of 1/1/13 the run is all clear

Summary of Gauge Readings

If the Shenango gauge near Transfer reads above 225 cfs you might be able to paddle this reach, but this is not an extremely reliable indicator. I've seen barely runnable levels at Neshannock when the Shenango gauge reads about 500 cfs, so your best indicator is to go to the bridge at the take-out and look at the riffles just upstream. If there is enough water to float over them, then you're good to go.

Gauge NameReadingTimeComment
Slippery Rock Creek at Wurtemburg, PA
AW Gauge Info
711 cfs 00h58m If the Slippery Rock Creek @ Wurtemburg gauge is dropping look for at least 1800 cfs.

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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Ohiopyle State Park Updates River Regulations

2018-03-30 14:00:00-04
Charlie Walbridge

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.

2004-01-09 00:00:00-05
Kevin Colburn

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.

Stephen Zerefos