For high, and usually -cold- water enthusiasts, check out the West Branch of the Schuylkill River, in Schuylkill County. First check the river gauge at waterdata.usgs.gov. The nearest gauge is Landingville. Look for a minimum flow of 500 cubic feet per second, which is fairly rare in Landingville.
Depart from a river launch just feet from route 901. Expect to get wet, don't paddle alone, and don't go in the dark. No real major obstacles anywhere on this stretch of river. There is a 'collapsed' dam 1 mile from the launch, but it poses no risk and is barely a ripple at higher water levels.
Much of the trip is narrow, steep and boulder strewn, with some parts of the river paralleling route 901. Get out at Schuylkill Haven Island Park on Fritz Reed Avenue in Schuylkill Haven. 6.5 mile paddle, 150 vertical feet, you should be able to complete this in under 2 hours with sufficient flow. Class I with scattered Class II.
Ample parking at launch and take-out
No parts of this trip are in PFBC parks or launches. No permits are required.
Route 901 to junction with route 209 in Pottsville. River launch is on the right, 1/4 mile south of Sheetz on route 901 towards Cressona.
Schuylkill River Guide lists this as 'for advanced paddlers only'