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:
1. Schuykill River Water Trail
Washington prayed near the banks of the Schuylkill River, and Audubon painted glorious birds along its shores. Paddle your way down the nearly 137-mile Schuylkill River Water Trail and find the same bit of country they did just beyond the city limits..
2. Lehigh River Water Trail
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.
3. Susquehanna River Water Trail
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.
4. Raystown Branch Juniata River Water Trail
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.
5. Three Rivers Water Trail
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.
6. Youghiogheny River Water Trail
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.
7. Middle Allegheny River Water Trail
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.
8. North Branch Susquehanna River Water Trail
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 are 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.
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