Tumbling Waters Creek is a shocking creek given the extremely modest look of the flow at the take out.
Upstream this creek is busting loose with a multi tier waterfall pushing near 40 feet. It also boasts Back Alley Brawl, a complex class 5+ box canyon style walls sporting an inaccessible slot with captive holes, long term resident wood, and flows that want to slam you into the rock wall if your boof angle and timing suck even a little. Everyone eats the wall or loses their paddle sooner or later.
If the watershed's ground is frozen or if its soaked, a quick 1+ inch rain could bring this gem up, but usually it takes a huge several inch storm to bring this up. This is the sister to the easier to catch Hornbeck's Creek (class 5+) just a couple drainages to the north. Always check this one first before heading to Hornbeck's or check afterwards it if it rains hard while you are in the area.
If you are boating a minimal flow the first 200 yards can be draggy, be patient till you get to "Signs of Life". Interesting lines start popping up with many horizon lines.
After a short class 2 section, some downed wood and one weak class 3 ledge is Sign's Of Life, a series of 4 ledges stacked on each other. The river is now ramping up leaving its tame character behind. Paddle up to the first ledge (6 ft) and boof right as there is a piton in the center line. Bounce down through the fun smaller ledges. This is a great spot for a group picture of everyone boating close.
A double drop starting with a 6 footer into a moving pool feeding into the second 12 foot drop. Center line through both are common. Expect wood just outside of the landing zone on the 2nd drop. Take care in the upper tier's hole in high water.
Named for the Pocono Environmental Education Center (Peec) just a stones throw away.
It is said that the Louisiana Water Thrush has abandoned Hornbecks Creek for the quality log roosting to be had on Mill Creek. Please do not cut out these last stands for our vacationing water thrush friends.
Note: at the water's horizon line is the limbo log entering into Last Rights
Currently there is a large log over the entry lip of Last Rights. You can "easily" Limbo under the log at flows under 2.0. During our high water run of 2.75 flows Kevin micro squeezed under, Sam seal launched off the top of the log and I put in at the eddy at the base of Last Rights on river right.
At lower levels this drop is independent and 2 eddies can be caught on left and right. At levels of 1.5 and up the eddies get slim pickings and look very unattractive, as a miss could send you into Back Alley Brawl backwards which could be disastrous. Last Rights has been run hard right without pitons. Center lines with left angle have produced barrel rolls and trashy hard hits on the right hip. At low water, my face mask took several painless gashes here. With the log in place, at the rapid's lip, the drop has a class 5+ feel doing the limbo just as the bottom drops out (inducing a barrel roll in my case -wg)
If you don't like the look of this just portage Last Rights and Back Alley Brawl (V+). In the winter portage on Left though there is a trail on river right that might work well in warmer ice free months.
This is the signature rapid on the river. This rapid has several complicating factors that change greatly at levels above 2.0
It is a very narrow line through a box canyon style gorge with rock on each side. Once you are in, I doubt you will get a chance to climb out if you swim. We ran this first at a level about 1 inch below the gauge's first hack mark. The entry at low flow is direct and easy setting up success at punching the entry hole to the Back Alley Brawl.
This entry hole deserves its name "HOLY SHIT HOLE". At 1.0 water flow it unexpectedly threw me into the large longterm strainer log at the back end of the hole. At high flows 2.75 it beat the piss out of our best pro boater. YEEHAW Kev!! I really wanted to name this hole peewee so we could say Kevin got his ass kicked in a hole named peewee but I gave in to group pressure....holy shit hole it is. Don't under estimate it.
The most concerning nature of the Back Alley is that what happens in the alley stays in the alley. Every man for themselves. Assistance and rescue in the winter is nearly impossible, heck scouting wasn't really possible without an ice axe and crampons on the steeps. Kevin got worked for 2 minutes and we didn't even know nor could we hear him. Take an extra measure of safety here and don't assume anything. For some reason I've always been the last guy through and I've hated it every isolated time.
After you clear "Holy Shit Hole" and pass on the Left of the large log, look for the "Boulder Pinch Down" and the only line of a boats width to the right. At high water I got endered and majorly stalled here which is that last thing you need just feet from the boof. Even good lines on the right leave you in a less than idea angle approach to the boof. The tail feels too far right.
Clearing the "Pinch Down" you are within feet from the critical diagonal lip you must boof. Drive Hard right and try to fall off keeping your nose away from the left wall. Chances are your first time you will blow the move. As long as you remember to pull in your Left paddle blade and parallel up with the paddle you should be ok. If your bow falls into the left wall, which is exactly what the water wants to do to you, you will grind hard into the wall. Survivable but ugly and loud paddle clacking. I can easily see a paddle getting broken in here. As ugly as the hole is at this 10 foot boof, it seems to let boaters get away.
I think the risk of entrapment or broken bones swimming over the boof is significant. That said, fire it up and stay in the boat and make sure there is no new wood.
A fun drop. Slip right over a small ledge, move further right and Slide down to the shallow pool. Angle left or right at the bottom as we took some pitons here. The further right on the slide the less piton action.
Heaven's Gate is a 20 foot waterfall. The landing on the Right is a bit shallow. The pool is deep in the center and center Left. Be careful not to let the water stuff you into the crack of rock on river Left. Most of the water goes left and it will flip you over. Boaters have surfaced behind heaven's gate waterfall.
Take note of the hole just before the lip of the falls it needs respect. I ran the falls backward after it grabbed my bow on our high water lap of 2.75. At any flow, towards the lip, the water has a center to left flow pulling unwary boaters towards the rock wall on left. (see photo gallery)
A spectacular 2 tier 40 foot waterfall. The 1st tier is approximately 25 ft into a mid tier pool. It has been run on the right, center and creek left.
In all our runs we ran hard to creek left. In the picture you can see an auto-boof feature just above my stern. The auto-boof seems to be stronger if you lean back or dribble over the edge without any attempt of speed. It has hurt at least one boater having auto-boofed them into more greenish water. I always feel the auto-boof factor to some degree but it is easy to compensate with good form.
Paddle strong to the hard left line, lean forward, lock the hips and plug the line deep into the pool. I prefer this line as it sets you up in the eddie of the mid-tier pool. Chill out and watch your buddies fly in to join you.
Portage Raging Angels:
Reconsider if it's clean, the drop is probably less dangerous than the walk especially if there is any snow or ice present. Portages can be made on river right on a very steep trail. I would assume you would lower the boat by a rope down the slope.
This drop changes dramatically with high flows pushing up on the left and right shoulders funneling back into the center for some wild character of cross currents. At higher flows I took a deep center line in the fold and my tale was pushed down hard. I was shucked out of my boat, like having my pants slipped off. Wow!
Pictured is Eli Landis at about the lowest boatable flow, 1 inch under the 1.0 mark. He's about to break his boat on a welded spot ripping a wider 15 inch flap crack. So I would think to be somewhere other than his landing zone. See the gallery for his boat picture.
Beautiful yet unrunable and Only about 40 yards downstream of Raging Angels. Portage on the river right trail. Followed by a few hundred yard hike out to the Rt209 pull out.
We crossed the creek at all flows using a rope in a zipline fashion to make sure boaters wouldn't be swept the 6 feet and over the 70 footer. The first boater with the line crossed high staying close to the wall with an end of a rope. Tied off we setup the zipline angle and it was all good. Tightly belay the last boater across the shallow creek. Its a bit tense of a takeout portage crossing knowing whats just a few feet away. Take your time, don't stumble.
Someone scouted Raging Angles today and it seems the great finale that is RA is all clear.
The bottom section of the 70 footer is runnable. Ive put in just above where the creek squeezes a boat width through a slot on the left. After the slot the creek fans out and falls onto a huge boulder creek right. Keep it pointed left after coming through the slot and youll most likely avoid crashing into the boulder.
7 years ago
by Wayne Gman
8 years ago
On the downstream creek left side of the Rt 209 bridge there are 4 score marks in the concrete. A good manageable lower level is even with the bottom score. About an inch below the 1st score (bottom) is probably rock bottom. Every inch make a dramatic difference in the gorge for enjoyment. A reading of 1.5-2.0 (score marks) is probably optimal for fun and fairly manageable holes. My highest run was 2.75, that was was full on serious Beast level. As of yet I've not heard of a higher run. Holes were dishing out beatings. I doubt there will be many complete runs at higher levels. I just added a picture of the Visual Gauge at the take out bridge to the photo Gallery. Note: as of 3/2008 there are no numbers on the bridge gauge and are just graphics added to the picture.
Permits are not required for this reach.
South of Dingmans Ferry, PA is the intersection of Rt 209 and Brisco Mtn road.
Putin: Take Brisco Mtn Road up the hill 1.5 miles and park on the side of the road, but off the road near a run down house with the creek right behind it. You can discretely hike in through the woods downstream of the house and the creek comes very close to the road just upstream of the house for an easy access. There is a low foot bridge (2 2x10" planks) that you can paddle under up to about 1.5 on the bridge guage. The put in will look like a knuckle drag flow at 1 on the gauge. Just get in the boat for a good run.
Takeout: From the intersection of Brisco Mtn Road and Rt 209, travel 0.3 miles south on Rt 209. You will see a large pull out on the right for 8 cars. The very small concrete bridge by the pull out is Mill Creek. It is very depressing looking and you instantly wonder if this could really be a boatable creek let alone one with the description above.
Back Alley Brawl - Wayne
Mill Creek Visual Bridge Gauge w/ guide
Art on Raging Angles
Entry to Slip N' Slide
A tight boof at Back Alley Brawl
Trying to go for another
Wayne @ Heaven's Lip
Ugly at Heaven's Gate
Way Left about to get rolled
Wayne Boofing Back Alley Brawl
Eli's welded boat massively fails
3 pitons in 3 seconds
Signs of Life
70 footer gets run by Eli's boat
Flying off Heaven
Raging Angels Top Tier
Eli Breaking a Boat on Raging Angels
Slip n' Slide
Boof out of the Alley
Louisiana Wood Thush Sightings
Back Alley Brawl
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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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