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Difficulty IV-V+
Length 1.8 Miles
Gauge Bush Kill at Shoemakers, PA
Flow Range 2.60 - 6.00 FT
Flow Rate as of: 1 hour ago 1.9 [FT]
Reach Info Last Updated 04/19/2011 8:02 pm

River Description

Check out this video of Hornbecks Creek on You Tube!

According to Stephen Wright, this steep bit, which drops into the Delaware Water Gap, has "15 large, cascading drops in a beautiful canyon of about a mile." On March 27, 2002, it was the scene of a nasty accident, as Bobby "ZoneDogg" Miller slammed his head into the rock shelf at the bottom of the first drop. The impact knocked him unconscious; his fellow paddlers were skilled and on the scene right away, and as of this writing (3/28/02), his prognosis is good. Click here for Wright's description of the accident in Boater Talk. 


Wright says they had a great time, but I think it goes without saying that you'd better be very skilled in steep creekin if you're contemplating this one.

Steve has kindly contributed the following description:

Shortly after the put-in is Bobby's Falls, a cascading falls that drops about 25 feet in roughly 20 feet of river. Then is Left-Turn, which is a steep slide into a pillow created by a wall that the water slams into, which then diverts the paddler left into the main runnout channel. Next is Let the Good Times Roll. It's a spectacular drop of 20 feel of a straight-forward steep slide into a deep pool.
Next is Twist and Shout, which is a series of close slides that twist and turn into the pool before Goliath Falls. Goliath Falls drops a total of more than 50', and has yet to be run to my knowledge. There were a few possible lines down, but all involved falling 15+ feet onto rocks, so we walked it.
The next major Rapid is Slot Machine, which I was the only one to run (it falls a total of 15-20 feet). As the slide begins, the water slopes left into a tiny channel which eventually drops into a boat-width slot which stays terribly narrow against a vertical rock-wall for 10 feet.
Next are a few "smaller" 10-15' clean cascades which lead to Sliding-Board Falls. This drops VERY steeply 20+ feet into a deep pool. A rock on the river right diverts some water, and trees in the landing pool were hazards.
Next are several other large slides (last chance to get out) before Entrance (a 20' steep cascade) which runs right into David's Falls. David's Falls is a multi-pitched steep slide dropping a total of 40-50 feet into a deep pool! It's GORGEOUS!!!
The river mellows out after this for the mile run-out, which is choked with strainers. We elected to simply carry back up to the put-in.
This creek is very steep and in a spectacular canyon. Expect to do a LOT of scouting.

Rapid Descriptions


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Wayne Gman
10 years ago

Wood Update: the bad log above twist and shout that wedge caught a few of us is now gone. There is new wood upstream but very visibly pinned on a longterm log in the flow. We rode up and over the Left side of it. We left it in spot as it will drift into a much worse location from where it currently is.

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Wayne Gman
11 years ago

Wayne Gman: I scouted the creek and the 30' bad log above twist and shout is now beached sort of high in the River Right setup eddy for twist and shout. In its current location it provides no hazard except High water could move it into play down stream. A little z-drag action could help this out a bunch..

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Wayne Gman
11 years ago

There is a strainer in the upper gorge just before twist and shout aka elbow crusher. Its on the creek left side and very hard to see on a river Left scout. Boaters are regularly getting pinned under this large log each time I'm there. They usually get minimal help to get out or mostly to manage gear in the swim out. Scout it on river right to easily see the log. Make a bigger move to the right staying higher to miss the big log. My last run in February saw there was now another less troublesome log stacked in there too. Last seen you could ride out the right side around the one big log and over the new one in the landing pool. Its likely to pick up more wood in this pile.

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Eli Landis
12 years ago

just because its been run doesnt mean its runnable. Go left on Goliath and you wont be standing straight for a couple weeks

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Jay Seiler
13 years ago

Hornbecks ran today with the Bushkill gauge at 2.3. The best way to check this creek is by the rain gauge. If Hornbecks is primed it will only take about a half inch in Edgemere to get it going. If the area is dry over an inch is what youll want to see before heading up there. Today was a good low level. Goliath was run by Eli Landis-I'll let him tell you about it. Slot machine got heavy looks, but no givers. Good lines on Davids aka "Devils falls" according to an old local. He also called Goliath "5 fingers". I managed to find a shelf at the bottom of Davids and pitoned hard! Creased my boat pretty bad-not to mention a hard hit at the bottom of a 25 ftr. I might suggest a further right line and separate a little from the back of the drop at the bottom. Try to keep the bow up too. I am going to swim in when the water drops to locate the piton shelf, there is definitely one in there! Have fun and Be safe!

Gage Descriptions

Needs lots of rain to be running. Check the Automated Flood Warning System to see what the rainfall's been doing. Edgemere (2737) is the nearest gage.

If the water coming under the bridge at the put-in appears to be deep enough to float a boat downstream to the first drop, there's enough water. This will most likely be runnable any day after a hard rain (1 inch or more) in the basin. If the Bushkill Creek gauge is rising quickly, then Hornbeck's may be running.



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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Pennsylvania Dam Removal Conference to be Held January 31st.

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.

Robert Miller


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1192934 08/07/02 Robert Miller n/a
1198677 11/15/10 Robert Miller Added a video 11/5/10
1199879 04/19/11 Robert Miller added video link