Elk Creek, Pennsylvania, US
|Usual Difficulty||I-II (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||18 fpm|
|Max Gradient||25 fpm|
|Walnut Creek Upstream Pool, near Erie, PA|
|usgs-04213152||4.65 - 5.50 ft||I-II||00h21m||3.76 ft (too low)|
Elk Creek is a lot of fun for beginners and good for surfing. It is a typical Lake Erie type
stream (shale gorge.) There is a really good set of surfing waves about 2 miles downstream of the
put in. This rapid is called "Double Razorblade." The first wave is the best wave on
this section. Otherwise, most of the good surfing is below Girard. One of surfing spots has a
nice river wide hole about 200 yards above the first railroad bridge below Girard. This rapid is
called "Upper Railroad." Another good one is 200 yards below a bridge about half
way between Rt 20 and the lake, and the last is one of the best with an assortment of holes and
waves just upstream of the last railroad bridge called "Lower Railroad." The
creek moves along pretty well and there is never more than 200 yards without a ripple.
Alternate access is located in Girard and is about 8 miles below Route 98. There is a good put-in / take-out at a closed bridge located just upstream of the Route 20 bridge. The run below here is an excellent after work run if you live or work on Erie's west side. It is a 5 mile run to the lake from here and is generally a little more entertaining than the upper stretches of this section. 0.75 ft is ideal for this section on the painted gauge at the West Road bridge across Elk in Sterretania. The electronic gauge on Walnut will usually read near 4.75 ft for the best surfing. The minimum level for this section will usually be about 4.65 ft on Walnut.
The regular put-in is at Folley's End Campground. You can park on the road that goes down to the
campground and carry about 100 yards to the water.
The take-out is at Elk Creek Access area. From Route 5 West, you will see a sign for Elk Creek Access Area. There is a nice parking lot here and it is close to the water.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Folley's End Campground|