9 Epic Whitewater Rafting Destinations to Explore this Summer

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

1. Youghiogheny River

7.5 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 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

3.9 Miles

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

3. Delaware River

Point Pleasant
6 Miles

The waters of the Delaware River have a definitely more laid-back vibe, offering a calm and relaxed float and rafting experience. Whether a beginner looking for a safer option, especially if you have younger children, or just want to enjoy taking in the beautiful surroundings, these waters will provide a unique adventure and remarkable scenic views.

4. Slippery Rock Creek

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

11 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
86 miles

Grab your raft and experience the thrill of the Allegheny River‘s rushing whitewater rapids as it courses through northern PA as the 86.6-mile Allegheny River Water Trail. While a favorite of both whitewater rafters and kayakers, the area near Oil City is where you are likely to find the most intense rapids, as well as some gorgeous natural scenery. 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

13 Miles

Get ready for a fun, challenging, and super-scenic whitewater adventure rafting down the simply gorgeous, 13-mile Loyalsock Creek, Pennsylvania’s 2018 River of the Year! Located in Loyalsock State Forest and adjacent to World’s End State Park, two of the prettiest wilderness areas you will find with towering cliffs and pristine forestland, 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!

8. Lehigh River Water Trail

Jim Thorpe
26 Miles

Whether you’re a first-timer seeking to test your whitewater abilities or an experienced rafter, 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 Class II and III rapids, deep gorges and fast-moving water in the trail’s upper section are ideal for the intermediate and more experienced, while the calmer waters of the lower section offers a calmer, more leisurely ride. Whether rafting solo, with family, or with a group of friends, whitewater rafting on the Lehigh will be a delight-filled experience to remember!

9. Pine Creek Valley Water Trail

17 Miles

One of Pennsylvania’s most historic and scenic water trails, the 17-mile Pine Creek Valley Water Trail offers a mix of whitewater rapids, long, serenely flowing sections, and 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. You are certain to find your “Happy Place” rafting the trail!

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 Happy Thoughts e-newsletter.

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