Since we had a free weekend, my wife and I along with our five kids, ages 2,4,7,10,and 12 decided to go on an overnight canoe camping trip. We put in at the launch site beside the route 144 bridge in the town of Renovo, 30 miles NW of Lock Haven. The first thing you notice when you put in is the crystal clear water. This is because of acid runoff from mines upstream which kills the algae in the water. Consequently there are very few fish in this river. The scenery is beautiful on this stretch of river, high mountain ridges and steep ravines. The weather was perfect for paddling, 78 degrees, deep blue sky, and white puffy clouds. Since the kids liked swimming more than sitting in a canoe we stopped quite frequently. They also had fun looking for tiny frogs, about the size of a pencil eraser that lived on the riverbank. We had a difficult time finding a decent campsite because of the thick vegetation and mud. We finally found one about 2 hours after we started looking for one. We set up camp quickly because of an approaching thundershower. After a brief rain shower we made a fire and roasted tube steaks (hot dogs) and hamburgers. Awoke the next morning to another beautiful day, the sun shining through the mist hanging over the mountains. After a cool morning swim and some breakfast we headed out for Lock Haven. The last 2 miles of this trip was like lake paddling because of a dam. We encountered some powerboats and jet-skis here. We also saw some scuba divers. Take out is on river left just past the Jay Street bridge at a small park with a boat launch. This is a nice gentle river for a family outing.
Route 80 to 220 N to 120 N
Keystone Canoeing by Ed Gertler