Deer Creek is a small creek that drains into the Clarion River. It has a fairly large watershed (about 67 sq. miles) so the level rises fairly quickly after a significant rain or thaw. For the whitewater section put-in at the old hump-back bridge nearly under the I-80 bridge. The section from route 322 in Shippenville to the hump-back bridge is nearly all flatwater (only one rapid - just upstream of the hump-back bridge), but a very scenic paddle. Be aware that this is a seldom run creek, and some of the rapids may have accumulated strainers.
The whitewater section starts with a half mile of class I riffles, then passes through the "Tunnel" (actually an old railroad bridge). The first substantial rapid is immediately on the other side of the Tunnel, but has a boulder that holds strainers and should be scouted before running. Take out river right immediately after the Tunnel to scout or portage. The wood situation below is constantly changing - expect maybe one or two portages at strainers. There are over 20 class II(+) rapids between the Tunnel & the mouth, including a pair of nice surfing waves on river right near the end.
To reach the take-out, get off I-80 at the route 338 exit (mile marker 53) and head south on CR 3007/TR-385/Canoe Ripple Road. When the road makes a right turn, continue straight on the gravel road, Eagle Furnace Road. Follow the road over Canoe Creek (also an interesting run) and up out of the valley. At the old stone farmhouse follow the road to the left, to the stop sign, Tippecanoe Road. Turn right and continue to the next stop sign, Huckleberry Ridge Road. Turn right and follow the road down into the Clarion River valley. The bridge over Deer Creek is right at the bottom of the hill. Park on river right, downstream of the bridge, right up by the road (the drive below, to the creek is now posted). To get to the put-in continue across the bridge, past the bridge across the Clarion and up the hill. At the top of the hill look for the first small gravel road on the left, Beaver Furnace Road, as the road curves to the right - turn here. Follow this road down to the old hump-back bridge at the put-in. Park on river left, downstream of the bridge.
Look upstream at the creek from the bridge at the take-out. If this stretch looks passable, then the rest of the run will be okay. If it looks scrapey, then the rest of the run is also going to be scrapey. If you're watching the precip maps, expect at least 2" of rain in an already moist watershed to bring it up to runnable. Consider watching the USGS Oil Creek gauge when there is a heavy rain in the area - it will need to spike to around 5' for Deer Creek to be runnable.
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Deer Creek rapid
Deer Creek tunnel
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Paddlers on the Lehigh River below the Francis E. Walter Dam and Reservoir are concerned that a planned study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its partners, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection will lead to a reduction in whitewater boating opportunities on the Lehigh. The study will evaluate the feasibility of various alternatives to optimize project operation. Aside from the project's authorized primary missions of flood risk management and recreation, the study will also consider water supply and water quality, to identify possible improvements to the existing structure, infrastructure, and operations that will support current and future demands within the region. The Army Corps is holding a public meeting on January 9, 2020 at the Mountain Laurel Resort in White Haven, PA from 6-8 p.m. to explain the study and hear public comments. American Whitewater, Appalachian Mountain Club, and other organizations are expected to file comments with the Army Corps prior to the September 29th deadline in order to share our concerns about the study and potential impacts on boating, the outdoor recreation economy, and the Delaware RIver Basin. We encourage our members to attend the public meeting to voice their concerns.
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