From Rt 54 West of Hometown you get on the Upper Little Schuylkill and start dropping through the mountains. Beautiful, wooded and secluded describe the first 5 or so miles before you reach the town of Tamaqua. Up here I would consider this more of a creek than a river.
Although the descent is not overly steep (35ft per mile), it has plenty of rocky technical spots with good flow. I would not recommend a kayak over 10 feet in length, white water kayak or cross-over kayak fit the bill here - probably a good idea to wear a helmet too. Watch for strainers as this first section is mostly in the woods.
Once you get into the town of Tamaqua, there is a park that you can use to park your boat if you want to go hit up a fast food restaurant or mini mart before continuing. After getting through town, the river takes a straighter path and hugs Rt 309 for a good while.
I ran this when the Tamaqua gauge was at 3.1 and would consider it a solid class 2 paddle. Look for the Tamaqua river gauge to read at least 2.6 ft to run and don't paddle alone.
Tamaqua has food and bathroom if needed
You can leave a pick up vehicle past the bridge on Schuylkill Rd or up farther north in some spots along Rt 309. To start, go north on Rt 309 to Hometown, then west on Rt 54, after a mile or so you will cross over the Little Schuylkill and there is parking lot on the left. Put in just below Rt 54.
"Keystone Canoeing" by Ed Gertler
- Water Type: River/Creek (Up to Class II)