Neshannock Creek, Pennsylvania, US
Neshannock Gorge (Neshannock Falls rapids)
||I-II (for normal flows)
Neshannock FallsPhoto of Steve Zerefos by M. Zerefos (KHCC)
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