Conejohela Flats is located on Lake Clarke, a dam controlled portion of the Susquehanna River five miles south of Wrightville and Columbia, PA. The Flats is one of the premier migratory bird flyways in PA as designated by the National Audubon Society. Put in is at Shank's Mare Outfitters, which offers plenty of parking and easy access to the water. From here you paddle about 1-3/4 miles across the Lake to the large area of mud flats. You'll encounter several islands, which are protected nesting areas for the many breeds of birds that inhabit the area. Once you get behind the islands you'll be in "quiet water". On any given day you could see eagles, osprey, heron, turtles, water snakes, and more. I would rate this trip "moderate" in difficulty because the open areas of the lake can get choppy and windy depending on weather conditions. The total paddle over, around the islands, and back is about five to six miles. It's a great day paddle especially for those who love to spot wildlife. We've done it at sunrise and by the full moon as well!
The put-in at Shank's Mare Outfitters offers a large recreation area with picnic tables, grills, and jiffy johns. Overnight accommodations would be available at bed and breakfasts in Columbia, PA.
There are no fees or permits required at this site.
From U.S. Rte 30 exit Wrightsville. If coming from Lancaster, PA (East) turn left. If coming from York, PA (West) turn right. At the first stoplight go straight on to Cool Creek Road. Proceed up a long hill, at top of hill take a left on to Knight's View Road. Proceed to the first stop sign (pause at scenic view and see where you will be paddling). At stop sign take a right on to Rte. 624 South. Go 3.1 miles to stop sign. Stop sign says "right turn keep moving". STOP here and go straight traveling along the Susquehanna River. Go app. three blocks to Shank's Mare Outfitters. Parking and paddling info is available at store.
Ample parking for loading and unloading is available at Shank's Mare Outfitters located right on the banks of the Susquehanna River at Lake Clarke. Access to the Conejohela Flats must be from this side of the River as there are railroad tracks and no put-in or take-out on the opposite shores.
Additional information and river conditions can be obtained by calling toll free 877-554-5080 to Shank's Mare Outfitters.
A comprehensive map to the Lower Susquehanna River Water Trail is available, contact Shank's Mare
Outfitters for details (877-554-5080). Definitely take a birding guide on this paddle!