We camped overnight at the Buckaloons Park outside of Warren, PA. We usually don't leave from Warren to avoid the rapids in Warren because we carry a full canoe with two people and camping supplies. About 9:30 the next morning of the 13th, we left Buckaloons and headed down the river.
This is one of our favorite trips which we are addicted to doing. A short trip down the river there is a nice camping spot on the left of the river bank which actually makes it possible to put in as late as 6pm and still camp the first night if the spot isn't occupied. This time we paddled pretty good and camped near Trunkeyvile for the first night on the water. This is about 21 miles and a good days paddle.
From there we went directly to the Boat access just after the bridge on the left side in Tionesta where we have previously parked our retrieval vehicle. Usually we would have spent the first night on the river instead of Buckaloons, but because of delays and a quite late arrival, we decided to stay at Buckaloons.
There are a one or two spots where the river current gets a little bit more towards a class two and the main thing is to watch out for rocks in those areas and keep it pointed with the river flow. Sometimes in lower water you may find yourself hopping out to lighten the canoe and walk it through some quite shallow spots. You will also drag bottom a few times here and there. We have a pretty good "keel" on the long aluminum canoe and other than a few healthy scratches on the canoe bottom, we have little damage to the keel from dragging. We also have gotten stuck on a submerged rock one time in 4 years. That was tricky. We essentially had to allow the canoe to broadside to the river since it was too deep to get out. Then once broad side we were able to rock and it floated off. I realize that was very dangerous had the current been higher. Probably had the current been higher we would have been forced off by the current though.
It was surprising that the 21 mile trip actually didn't take as long as expected and wasn't that tiring. Normally a 15 mile trip per day is better. Soon we will do the trip from Tionesta to Emlenton.
Rough camping on pre-flattened tent spots. Spots are all along the trip on the islands.
18 foot aluminum canoe; 9x8 Tent.
Permit is required or registration to launch your boat from Buckaloons and use any other PA launch sites. Also there is a $5 per day fee to park the vehicle at the Buckaloons per vehicle.
Leave one vehicle with a $5 per day fee in Buckaloons. Leave the other vehicle at the "Lighthouse" in Tionesta which is down the street from the Motel.
There is a Upper River Guide book that is invaluable from Allgeheny River Outfitters but I don't know if it is still available. They were supposed to print one for the Lower River but all calls to them are unanswered and messages left un-returned. Attempts to get to their "online store" find that site no long active.