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Shenango River in Pennsylvania

Trip Overview

A buddy and myself had been discussing floating the Shenango River for a while. This day was picture perfect weather, not a cloud in the sky, leaves changing color, etc. It was time for the trip!

We put the canoe in at the Greenville park and floated down to Big Bend. What a gorgeous stretch of water. As soon as you leave Greenville, you start to leave behind signs of habitation.

The river was surprising clean (due no doubt to the efforts of the River Watchers and their annual cleanup). Other than a stretch between the Kidds Mill covered bridge and Hamburg, where there were a good number of blowdowns and strainers, it was relatively easy. Even in that jumbled stretch of downed trees, we only had to "exit" the canoe one time. We came across a trunk that had just enough room under an arch that we could squeak the canoe under, minus us. So, as we came to it, I climbed up and laid across the trunk. I pushed down on the bow, it slid under, and I just laid on the trunk, gently guiding the canoe underneath. When it was far enough, I slipped over the log and back into the canoe. My buddy did the same at the stern, and we were on our way. We did a few limbo moves and had to pick our course wisely a few times, but nothing overly difficult or dangerous.

We saw an eagle, a bunch of herons, and a ton of ducks.

It took us 4 1/2 hours of leisurely paddling, in no hurry, to make it from Greenville to the Big Bend bridge.


Greenville has everything you'd need pre-paddling. Not a huge town, but some good spots for lunch.

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

Locations on this Trip