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Tulpehocken Creek in Pennsylvania

A self-supported trip created by h2obusgirl

Trip Overview

We chose the Tulpy as our first moving water adventure, having previously only paddled on lakes. The Blue Marsh gauge was over 4 ft, the weather was hot and sunny, so we packed a picnic and headed for the creek. This being our first moving water experience, and knowing there is a weir just past Gring's Mill, we decided the best place to take out is at the day use are just below the Covered Bridge.

As we dropped off a car, we scoped out the beach and saw a few nice spots to get out. Also noticed a sign about the J Hooks that are found in this section of creek and made mental note that we'd have to be alert for them. My hubby and I each had a kid with us (5 and 4), so we were trying to take all precautions to keep them safe (even making them wear their bike helmets!).

We drove down to the spillway at Blue Marsh and unloaded. It's a great place to put in. With the weather so nice, we had lots of spectators. Lots of people on shore fishing made to shoot for the other side to start our trek. We encountered lots of down trees to avoid, none of which inhibited travel, as the creek is fairly wide. We chased a bunch of Osprey's down the creek as we come. So nice to see them thriving in the small canyon of the Tulpy!

Just when we thought we were alone....we'd encounter a wading fisherman. There were a lot out on such a nice day. We got to practice navigating around them and avoiding their lines. We encountered many of the J Hooks and successfully avoided them. It was fun testing the current and realizing that it so much wanted to turn your boat around....if you let it.

There were sections that were nice and lazy and a few that were a little swift (this coming from a beginner). I could pretty much see bottom the whole run, which was comforting since I knew if we dumped I could stand. The kids were angels and enjoyed the run. They spent the time dragging a bobber on a piece of fishing line we found on a past lake we keep them with our gear as 'boat toys'. Nothing like playing with trash!

We all had our wetsuits on 'just in case'. The water was chilly, but the heat of the sun made me keep putting my hands in to cool off. Our trip took about an hour and 15 min....just enough for the kids to be ravenous for our picnic. We pulled out and found an empty picnic table. Our creekside cafe was the perfect setting for our Easter dinner. Next time, we might continue past the weir and take out further downstream. This was a good practice run for our trip to the Pine Creek next weekend!


Porta Potty at Blue Marsh spillway. Fire pits, charcoal grills and picnic facilities. Take out near covered bridge also had charcoal grills, picnic facilities, pavilion and flush toilets.


Our boats are: Perception Prodigy 12' (hubby), Old Town Vapor 12' (mine)


Not sure if they are necessary, but one boat has a DNCR and the other a PA Fish and Game sticker so we are covered.


Put in at Blue Marsh Lake spillway off of Palisades Drive.


Thanks to the prior reviewer! His tips helped!

Trip Details

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)

Trip Location