Pennsylvania's water trails are a reflection of the state's diverse geology, ecology and communities. And they're fun!
Find information on Pennsylvania's water trails - recreational corridors with access points, boat launches, day-use sites and even overnight camping areas. Boat, float, bird watch or fish down one of these water trails:
Washington prayed near the banks of the Schuylkill River, and Audubon painted glorious birds along its shores. Paddle your way down the nearly 112-mile Schuylkill River Water Trail and find the same bit of country they did just beyond the city limits. Not up for the trip yourself? Join an entire flotilla at the annual Sojourn (always the first week in June). For additional information, or to order the Paddler's Guide to the Schuylkill River Water Trail, visit www.schuylkillriver.org
The Lehigh River Water Trail, a recreational waterway with multiple access points, ranges from Class III rapids to a placid stretch of canal. Diversions include wildlife viewing on islands, historic sites, a mule-powered canal boat ride and licensed fishing.
Peer into the clear waters to catch sight of smallmouth bass as you boat, canoe or kayak the Lower Susquehanna River Water Trail from Harrisburg to the Mason-Dixon Line. See Native American river rock art, a bald eagle sanctuary, or, on a warm summer’s evening, spot bats circling overhead looking for insects.
Paddle the Raystown Branch Juniata River Water Trail’s slow pools and shallow riffles. This 55-mile stretch of Class I water, ideal for the novice canoeist, meanders eastward from Bedford through rural Bedford County and prime smallmouth bass territory to Saxton.
Row, row, row your canoe or kayak (or steer your own motorboat) gently down the Three Rivers Water Trail, and watch merrily as fireworks displays illuminate the water on a summer’s night. Pittsburgh’s historic bridges, sweeping hills and breathtaking views make the experience but a dream.
The Youghiogheny River Water Trail lures fishermen, boats and historians. The Yough, as locals call it, offers prime outdoor recreation with diverse geology and historical features. See coal outcrops reminiscent of the mining industry and re-enactments of the famous crossing by General Braddock.
Enjoy a leisurely float and paddle along all or part of the Middle Allegheny River Water Trail, a 107-mile stretch of river canoeable year ‘round that’s both beginner and family-friendly. Three sections totaling 86.6 miles have even been designated “Wild and Scenic” by Congress.
A paddler’s paradise that stretches for nearly 200 miles, the North Branch Susquehanna River Water Trail offers idyllic mountain views, abundant wildlife and riverside towns — as well as prime fishing opportunities. A comprehensive map and guide is available from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, and local outfitters can provide boat rentals.
For more information on Pennsylvania's water trails, go to www.fishandboat.com/watertrails.