Within the boarders of Pennsylvania, you will find a state not only entrenched up to its eyeballs with history, but also a state with never ending scenic beauty. Numerous rivers carve their way through a diverse array of Pennsylvania landscape. Float one (or two or three) of these majestic rivers and experience the state from an all natural perspective; taking you right back to George Washington’s heydays! We’ve got you ultimate list of rivers to explore right here, check them out below and share with your friends!
Delaware River – Map
As one of Americans very first Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Delaware river is not only loaded with beauty, but deep American heritage as well. Yes, this is the famous river that George Washington crossed during the revolutionary war. Opposite of the upstream crossing, is the breathtaking headwaters and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
The water is ridiculously clean being free flowing and undammed, and attracts over half a million people to it annually. To float the Delaware River, contact Edge of the Woods Outfitters. They offer canoe, kayak, and raft rentals for the river, as well as four different floating options at varying lengths. They are located right on the Delaware Water Gap.
Conemaugh River – Map
If you are looking for an overall “chill” float, the Conemaugh is your destination. With class I – II rapids, this is a true lazy river. Like the Delaware, the Conemaugh is rich with heritage as it was a major transportation route from Pittsburgh to Johnstown way back in the early 1800’s. Being such a beautiful body of water, freight that once floated the canals have been replaced by canoes and kayaks.
The scenic beauty of the Conemaugh is breathtaking, and if you like to fish, this river has action! To float the scenic waters of the Conemaugh River, check out Saltsburg Kayak. They offer both canoe and kayak rentals and their routes put you in the path of bald eagles, great blue Herons, and deep local history for an unforgettable trip.
Susquehanna (Middle) – Map
The Susquehanna is an absolute behemoth of a river. Stretching an astonishing 464 miles, it is the longest river in the east coast. Being so huge, the river offers several key areas for floating which all have their own perks. The Middle section of the Susquehanna is unreal, and is known for having over 400 islands, and numerous primitive campsites in between the towns of Sunbury and Harrisburg.
Also known for great fishing, it’s a must for any angler. The middle Susquehanna offers endless adventures; camp out at on one of the islands or explore some scenic coves, your time here is going to be unforgettable. When you do, look no further than Blue Mountain Outfitters, as they have full service and floats hitting all the countless islands and adventures!
Susquehanna (North) – Map
The North section of the Susquehanna is a scenic masterpiece. A float down this section of the river is packed with wildlife, and offers a relaxed calm float perfect for those lazy days on the river. Bald eagles, great blue Herons, deer, otters and more can all be seen on this section of the river for a true Pennsylvania scenic experience.
Also known for great fishing, taking your poles out on the river is a must. Along with its scenic attractions, you also have some historical spots like the French Azilum Historical site along the way. The team over at Endless Mountain Outfitters will make sure your time out on the Susquehanna is well spent, and offers full service on a multitude of floats along this scenic wonder.
Susquehanna (West) – Map
Keeping the theme with with the Susquehanna, the west section is packed with wildlife and scenic beauty. This section is a part of the National Parks Water Trail system as well as being named a premier destination by National Geographic. The West Branch Susquehanna River offers some of the finest and most remote paddling the state of Pennsylvania has to offer.
The trips are endless here. Being a relaxed float the majority of the way, it does include some falls and drops such as, Chest, Buttermilk, or Moshannon falls. When you hit up the west Susquehanna, make sure and go to McCracken’s Canoe Sales and Rentals, as they have full service and endless trips that cover over 150 miles of the river!
Kiskiminetas River – Map
The Kiskiminetas River is often referred to as the Kiski. It’s a 27 mile laid back lazy river that won Pennsylvania River of the Year in 2000. It is known for being a prime spot to fish as there are over twenty different species to fish for, making it a popular stop for anglers all around. Camping along the banks of this scenic river is also popular, as nothing beats the experience of an overnight paddling and camping trip.
The Kiski also has a diverse variety of wildlife with eagles, deer, blue heron, and the occasional bear being sighted. It’s packed with adventure and is a great spot to beat the heat this summer. When heading out to the Kiski river, you’ll need to check out The River’s Edge Canoe & Kayak. They are a full-service outfitter with sales & rentals, as well as a full-service bait and tackle shop, along the banks of the beautiful Kiskiminetas near Leechburg, PA.
Shenango River – Map
The Little Shenango is a prime spot to head to when you’re looking for a seclude scenic float in Pennsylvania. With not as much people flocking here, you’re left alone, engulfed in the true scenic beauty of Pennsylvania. A relaxed and easy float, you’re able to take it all in as you slowly meander down the river.
Fishing is a must on the river and wildlife is packed throughout. The Shenango’s remote setting offers quite the experience, and is a no brainer when it comes to beating the heat of summer. When you do float the scenic Shenango, make sure and hit up Carried Away Outfitters for all your float needs, as they’re experts on the river and will make sure your time on the river is perfect.
Allegheny River – Map
One of western Pennsylvania’s natural treasures, the Allegheny River was just recently voted 2017 Pennsylvania River of the Year. Among this, it’s also a federally designated National Wild and Scenic Recreation River so it’s easy to see how one could expect quite the scenic float down this gem. Stretching a staggering 315 miles throughout the state, the river flows through everything from narrow forest valleys to small towns and farming pastures.
It is also home to a growing bald eagle population so you will probably catch a site of one on your float. If you are looking to get on the Allegheny, and need some Canoe or Kayak rentals, look into Outdoor Allegheny River Services. Since 2008 they have put over 12,000 people down the river, including those from 17 different countries and all but 4 different states. They are conveniently located right near the split of the Allegheny and French Creek.
French Creek – Map
Due to its ridiculously clean and clear water, scientist have rated French Creek one of the 6th most biologically diverse streams in the Northeastern United States.The river flows for a cool 117 miles and has little development, making it quite the scenic trip. Since the river stays pretty slow moving, it is perfect for beginners or those just looking for an easy relaxing float.
Just sit back and take in all of the scenery and wildlife. Another cool feature are the numerous islands in which it flows around that you can pull off on. We would recommend Outdoor Allegheny River services for rentals on this beauty as well. You just cannot beat their location and since they are the only French Creek canoe and kayak rental place that we know, you do not have too much of a choice. 🙂
Lower Susquehanna (Lake Clarke) – Map
Towards the lower section of the Susquehanna River there is a man-made lake formed by the Safe Harbor Dam. This dramatically widens the body of water and virtually removes all current. The lack of current makes for some awesome exploring as you can paddle all throughout the “Lake” and even slightly venture into many of the small streams that feed into it. The cool thing about the Lower Susquehanna is it’s deep heritage as a pivotal piece to the early settling of the United States.
Meander your way up to unique rock formations that line a certain section of the river and view the incredible Native American “petroglyphs” that really give you a taste of the amazing history of the area. To check out the Lower Susquehanna area look into Shank’s Mare Outfitters. They are located in a really cool 1880’s era general store building right on the shores of the Susquehanna River and have been doing their thing since 1978. They offer all sorts of rentals, a retail store, and even guided tours that can really school you on the history of the area.
With such a plethora of floating options, what are you still sitting there for!? Share the article with friends and start figuring out which river you want to hit up first. Each “Open in Maps” link will pull the location of the outfitter up instantly. Some of these rivers may be a lot closer then you realize! Be safe, and have an awesome floating season!
Share with Friends