It's our yearly start to paddling. We start at Camp Redwing just off Route 68 in Connoquenessing. I believe there are signs for it along the way. It's roughly a 4-5 hour trip depending on the speed of the creek and the number of stops you make. The place we put in needs a little work. The creek drops in about 5 feet and there needs to be some rocks thrown in to make entering you kayak there easier.
My friend Jim was on his first trip and he had trouble getting in his kayak for the first time. The boat went out from under him and he plunged in up to his neck. It was a chilly day but we forged onward. We stopped at the first bridge we came to and built a fire to dry him out a little. We spent an hour there then moved on. You pass under several R.R trusses along the way before reaching another bridge. This is at Spithaler School Road and there really isn't anyplace to pull out there so we continued to the next bridge which is on Ashstop Road.
Before reaching Ashstop Rd. we saw a lot of debris along the creek from the flooding of last year. There was plastic hanging from the trees and it really needs cleaned up. Other kayakers in previous years had been working on cleaning this creek but now it's really bad. If I'm able to ad pictures of that I will. So it might be a good idea to carry some garbage bags and do as much clean up as you can.
Being early in the year we didn't see the usual Blue Herons but we did see many ducks, wood peckers and geese along the way. We could have continued further down from there but it just wasn't a real nice day so we pulled out there. I have another article on this site that starts from the Old Rt. 68 Bridge. That is a few miles down from where we pulled out and we would have continued on but our one friend was still pretty wet so we got out before hitting the one set of class 1-2 rapids. I felt he could use a skirt on this section being he took on water as we passed through a small set of rapids earlier.
All in all it was a very nice trip and we'll be doing it again in the next month. Hopefully a little more prepared. It was however a memorable trip none the less. Let the kayaking season begin!!!
There aren't too many houses along the way but there are several places to pull over for a break. If you want to do an all day trip I suggest a skirt and some snacks. You can go all the way to Zelienople if you want. There is one dam you will have to portage around in Harmony Pa. You will notice the water being very still behind the dam. We usually pull out on the 528 bridge. To get there you have to go North on 528 out of Evans City and have you pick up cars waiting there. The bridge there is maybe 5 miles out 528. If interested in this trip and need more info, you can email me.
No fees required
To get to the put in spot go to Evans City and head North on Route 68 toward Butler. Go about 4-5 miles and turn right on Spithaler School Road. At the TJ's Hideaway sign. Go about 200 yards and make a left at the next road. Go about .5 miles and you'll pass a road to the right. You could turn there but continue to the next road to the right. Follow that road all the way to the bottom of the hill. Once at the bottom of the hill continue straight bearing left around a wooded area. You'll come to R.R tracks. Cross the tracks and park there. Hopefully we'll work on the put in spot by then. Have fun.
I had no books for this trip. It's a fairly easy run.