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Yellow Breeches Creek in Pennsylvania

Trip Overview

I had driven by Yellow Breeches Creek dozens of times, but never had the opportunity to paddle it. It was a beautiful late August Saturday and we made a last minute decision to paddle and joined my sister's brother for a 3.6 mile paddle of a stretch of Yellow Breeches near Mechanicsburg.

This is a part of a PA DNR water trail and there are a number of places to put in and take out. Three sections of the river are recommended for paddling, the others have old dams on them and not something I wanted to deal with, as we had pre-teen and teen kids with us. Good maps and information are available - Google 'yellow breeches water trail' and it should be the first hit listed.

We put in at Messiah College in Grantham, really good parking and access, and right by an old covered bridge as a bonus. We took out at the McCormick Linear park, which runs a good long ways along the river about 3.5 miles downstream and has good parking and outstanding access - just lift the boat from the water and place it in the truck. The shuttle is less than 10 minutes one way.

The scenery is quite good and the trip is largely shaded. The river moves at a pretty good pace and there are some riffles and a couple of sections of mild whitewater. There is one old spillway of some sort which the kids loved, and easy to run on the right at the water level we experienced. The trip took about 2 hours with some breaks, but easy to add more to make a day of it.

I will have to go back and do different combinations of this creek, it has many possibilities. The creek is very popular, so on a warm summer's day you will not be alone. The river is also very popular (and friendly) for tubing, which we want to do at some point also.


Messiah College had a nice picnic area we used before departing, I suppose there are bathrooms at the sports complex, but none near the put in. The take out has no facilities.




Look at the map on the website mentioned, there are many points to put in and take out. The put in at Messiah College is near their sports complex off Creekside Drive, it was pretty easy to find once on campus, or ask any of the friendly students. The take out is along McCormick road, which parallels the creek for a long distance, Google maps should get you there with no problem

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

Locations on this Trip