10 Epic PA Whitewater Rafting Destinations to Explore this Summer

Looking for an adrenaline-pumping outdoor adventure to keep you afloat this summer?! These Pennsylvania whitewater rafting trails are the ones for you! From high-intensity rapids to calmer waters, your aquatic adventures await.

1. Youghiogheny River

Length: 74 Miles

Considered almost a rite of passage for those in the whitewater rafting world, the fast-flowing Youghiogheny River (pronounced “yockaGAYney,” or simply “the yock,” for those in the know) is the Mid-Atlantic region’s whitewater rafting capital. From spring through fall, whitewater boaters of all skill levels accept the river’s challenge, with the most experienced tackling the Upper Yough’s adrenaline-pumping Class V rapids complete with narrow twists and turns and heart-stopping drops. The 7.5-mile Lower Yough with its Class III and IV rapids is ideal for those honing their intermediate whitewater skills, while the 11-mile Middle Yough offers a fun ride for all skill levels. Flowing through Ohiopyle State Park, the Youghiogheny is a worthy addition to most everyone’s bucket list, regardless of how you pronounce it!

2. Tohickon Creek

Length: 3.4 Miles

Starting out near Lake Nockamixon in Ralph Stover State Park, Tohickon Creek offers a high-energy, unforgettable ride down to the Delaware River. With six adrenaline-pumping Class II to IV rapids that take you on a thrilling journey through the High Rocks cliffs, it is a delightfully challenging adventure. Looking for less intense waters? Other trails along Lake Nockamixon provide some tamer whitewater rafting adventures, as well.

3. Upper Delaware River

Beach Lake
Length: 73.4 Miles

The waters of the Upper Delaware River have a laid-back vibe, offering a calm and relaxed rafting experience with Class I and II rapids. The Delaware is a great option for beginner rafters and younger children, or just float along and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. A part of the National Park System, the Delaware is one of the longest free-flowing rivers in the Northeast United States.

4. Slippery Rock Creek

Length: 6 Miles

Slippery Rock Creek in the heart of McConnells Mill State Park is a whitewater rafter’s dream destination! Cascading through the spectacular Slippery Rock Creek Gorge, the creek offers an intense and exhilarating whitewater rafting experience with its Class II to IV waters, especially in the spring and fall. A National Natural Landmark created by the draining of glacial lakes thousands of years ago, the gorge’s steep sides and huge boulders littering the valley floor provide a simply breathtaking ride.

5. Cowanshannock Creek

Length: 11.7 Miles

After a nice rainfall, the Cowanshannock Creek with its rushing, Class IV rapids can be a great whitewater adventure for the experienced rafter. The creek offers plenty of challenges you just might want to scout out beforehand, including large boulders and other obstructions. Enjoy the ride down the famed Buttermilk Falls then cruise to the Allegheny River as it flows through Kittanning.

6. Allegheny River Water Trail

Oil City
Length: 86.6 Miles

Grab your raft and experience the thrill of the Allegheny River‘s rushing whitewater rapids as it courses through northern PA’s Allegheny River Water Trail. Located in a formerly industrial area, the now-restored Allegheny is protected by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Popular with whitewater rafters and kayakers, the area near Oil City is where you are likely to find the most intense rapids. Crowned Pennsylvania's 2017 River of the Year, rafters of every experience level will find the perfect spot to test their skills, so come along and enjoy the thrilling experience and the stunning views only the Allegheny River can offer!

7. Loyalsock Creek

Length: 64 Miles

Get ready for a fun, challenging, and super-scenic whitewater adventure rafting down Loyalsock Creek, Pennsylvania’s 2018 River of the Year! Located in Loyalsock State Forest near World’s End State Park, the creek’s rapids range from Class I to IV with peaceful pools between. The S Bend Rapid can be especially challenging, while the lower section below Forksville provides opportunities for less experienced paddlers. Regardless of where you put in, you’re guaranteed a beautiful ride full of “Loyalsock Love.”

8. Lehigh River Water Trail

White Haven
Length: 72 Miles

Designated as a Pennsylvania state scenic river, the free-flowing waters of the 72-mile Lehigh River Water Trail are perfectly suited to almost every skill level and thirst for adventure! Coursing through 26 miles of Lehigh Gorge State Park, the fast-moving waters in the trail’s upper section are ideal for the intermediate and more experienced paddler, while the calmer waters of the lower section is better suited for beginners. Whether rafting solo, with family, or with a group of friends, your trip down the Lehigh River will be a splash!

9. Pine Creek Valley Water Trail

Length: 17 Miles

One of Pennsylvania’s most historic and scenic water trails, the 17-mile Pine Creek Valley Water Trail offers some of the best views of Pine Creek Gorge, aka the “Pennsylvania Grand Canyon!” While the rapids are generally rated at Class II and III, they can vary from Class I to Class IV during a heavy rainy season. If you are looking to extend your rafting trip overnight, there are state forest and private camping facilities along the banks of Pine Creek.

10. Stonycreek River

Length: 84 Miles

Brave the East Coast’s longest-continuous rapids in Stonycreek Canyon, part of Stonycreek River. If it’s your first time rafting, get your feet wet in the Class I-II rapids or paddle on Quemahoning Lake. If you’re a regular rafter, Stonycreek also has expert-only Class V whitewater powered by the nearby dam. Stonycreek is also home to Whitewater Park – adjacent to Greenhousepark, Pennsylvania’s first constructed rapids, where rafters and tubers can practice their technique!

Still looking for more outdoor adventures in PA? Explore the visitPA website and find even more outdoor locations that will leave you in awe. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state. Don’t forget to never miss an update and sign up for our monthly PA travel e-newsletter.

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