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Neshaminy Creek in Pennsylvania

Trip Overview

I paddled Neshaminy Creek for the first time on 4/14/2016, starting from Bridge Point Park just south of Doylestown, PA and ending at Tyler State Park near Newtown, PA, a total river distance of 14.5 miles (per GPS). My boat was a Dagger Edisto, 14.5 ft. plastic kayak. On that day I covered the distance in just over 3 hours paddling time (4 hours total), although it could take 5 hours or more at a more leisurely pace.

I had little information to go on, but took the suggestion of the 2010 Trip Report (thanks!) and went the day after some rains brought the water level up a little, to 5.6 feet (as measured at the US government's water gauge at Penn's Park). I found this level was just enough to avoid grounding in all but a few spots, and had a very pleasant, generally easy ride down. However, I rated the trip as "Moderate" because there are numerous rocks in the creek, and a few places where a novice could bump their boat (or worse) going over a small lip, particularly if the flow was stronger. I definitely recommend using a sturdy boat, preferably plastic. That said, there are no dams along this stretch of the creek -- it ends just before the dam in Tyler State Park.

On a beautiful spring day as I had, the creek is a very fine place to be, shallow but wide, offering a mix of stony riffles and more placid sections, and mostly natural banks of grass and wildflowers, brushy forest, and some bare cliffs. Turtles, kingfishers, great blue herons, and the usual geese and ducks call it home and are easily spotted. The creek passes through Dark Hollow Park starting at about 4 miles (Mill Road), passing under "the last remaining eight arch [stone] bridge in Pennsylvania" (according to the Delaware River Keeper).

A few miles further the creek runs up against a high bluff which forces it to run northeast, after which it returns to its generally southeast flow, passing under Rushland Road (concrete bridge) at 8.6 miles. In about another mile you might hear what sounds like a giant waterfall ahead, but it's only the Rush Valley Quarry operation to river left. At 10.5 miles you pass under Rt. 232 (the "Second Street Pike"), and at about 12.8 miles enter Tyler State Park (not marked). A few minutes later you pass under the covered bridge, and the creek's flow slows due to the effect of park's dam. There is one more surprise at mile 13.8 (look up, river left!), before you reach the canoe launch area on the left, a hundred yards or so before the dam.

Accommodations:

Bridge Point Park -- none (just a small parking lot); no formal launch area, but access from the grassy riverbank is easy.

Tyler State Park -- bathrooms near the canoe launch area.

Fees:

No; Tyler State Park (end point) is free.

Directions:

Bridge Point Park (put-in location) -- From Doylestown, heading south on Route 611, at the traffic light at Edison-Furlong Road and Route 611, make a right onto Edison-Furlong Road. The riverside park is just around the next corner, on your left. GoogleMaps calls this location "Edison Park, Pennsylvania."

Tyler State Park (take-out location): the park's main entrance is on Route 413 (Swamp Road) just west of Newtown, PA, look for the sign. Once on the park road, proceed to the "Boat House" (first right), with nearby parking.

  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip