Walnut Creek - Cherry St Ext to Bridger Park

Walnut Creek, Pennsylvania, US


Cherry St Ext to Bridger Park (Upper Walnut)

Usual Difficulty III (for normal flows)
Length 3.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 51 fpm
Max Gradient 69 fpm

Colonel's Rotisserie rafting

Colonel's Rotisserie rafting
Photo by Ted Engelhardt taken 10/19/12

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
hads-GRDP1 2.00 - 2.50 ft III 01h15m ~ 1.74 ft (too low)

River Description

From Cherry Street Extension Walnut quickly enters into a narrow gorge, (except for the part you can see from Barnes and Noble and the Wendy's drive thru where the creek is much wider) but the whitewater remains tame for a while.  The first 2 miles are mostly Class I with a few downed trees that you have to portage and few Class II ledges interspersed.  I live close by this section and maintain it with a chainsaw, but new strainers are a pretty frequent.  At mile 2.1, a footbridge marks the beginning of the larger ledges which are sometimes too shallow to be interesting, but nonetheless, two Class III ledges abound after this point.  The two Class III's are 10 to 12 feet in height dropping over 30 yard stretches.  The first one is right beside the Kentucky Fried Chicken (The Colonel's Rotisserie.)  You can recognize it by a tall metal gate on the right side of the creek and extends part way into the water.  Here a small wide drop leads into a cascade that crashes into the right bank and pours into a round pool that has a nice wave train in it at some levels.  The round pool offers great eddy access to the wave train.  You can ride "The Rotisserie" upstream to surf in the wave train.  Immediately downstream, a wide ledge (Barnes and Noble Ledge) leads into a small drop off.  The drop off hole is good for surfing at some levels, especially on the right side.  After one more small ledge beside the Wendy's (Dave Thomas's), you will pass under Peach Street and the creek once again becomes flat and flowing with a few riffles down to the Bridger Park take out (near the old Dollar Theater and Erie Institute of Technology.)

Use caution with water levels on the section!  There is a narrow window of acceptable levels due to some nasty strainers that come up quickly on blind bends.  Please read the gauge information carefully on this page.

This section is very narrow throughout most of the run and has a very small catch basin.  For this reason, the reach may be available after a brief summer thunderstorm with torrential rains of 1/2" or more.  The strange thing is, Lower Walnut and all of Elk Creek may not even run on such a day!  Such a flash flood spreads out as it moves downstream and doesn't significantly affect the water levels on larger reaches.  I call these short severe thunderstorms "gauly washers."

Access is really good for this section.  To get to the Put-In take Kuntz Rd across Peach St from the mall.  Go 2 or 3 miles until you come to a T at Cherry Street Extension.  Go down the hill to a substation before the bridge.  There is room for a couple of cars, but don't block access to the site.

Park anywhere from Sears Auto to the parking lot near the Erie Institute of Technology.  The best is across from Bridger Park on the left side of the creek.  The bank is slightly steep, but is set up for erosion control and offers good footing.  You can literally park 20 feet from the water.  You can park at Bridger Park on the right side but there is only one non-handicapped parking spot and it makes the shuttle a little longer.  None the less, this park is very nice and is a great addition to the fantastic parks program for Millcreek Township.  Thank you to all who contributed to making this site beautiful with the hiking trails.


StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2014-12-14 10:47:16


Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 25 2015 (1338 days ago)
Jonathan JanickiDetails
Be careful above the first rapids where there is a little tree slalom and ducking but nothing that
causes portage even in my raft. After the first rapids it's super clear all way to Dave Thomas
Rapid. The strainer above Peach is now pushed aside a little from recent floods. Proceed on the
left side with caution at the little opening.
April 22 2009 (3562 days ago)
Jonathan JanickiDetails
Oh, I remember you Ryan from the Three Rivers Message board. Sorry I haven't been on for a while.
My email is jj14231999@yahoo.com and my phone is 814-402-0882. Hope to see you on the water soon!