Enjoy this ‘choose your own mileage’ loop on Lake Aldred. This loop offers a unique opportunity to explore the region of the Susquehanna River known as the ‘Susquehanna Gorge,’ a 40-mile area that contains the geologic features known as the ‘Susquehanna Deeps.’ These six long spoon-shaped depressions within the river are underwater canyons that descend as much as 200 feet below the surface; the largest of this section’s itinerary being located just behind the Holtwood Dam.  In addition to the underwater features, paddlers will also enjoy views of the high gorge walls that include two of the area’s most iconic overlooks: Pinnacle Overlook and House Rock Overlook.

Launch and land from the York Furnace Boat Ramp. Paddlers can traverse the loop in either direction. It is advised to take the wind into consideration when deciding the orientation of your paddle. Utilizing the land to block the wind will help to save energy. As you travel down river, House Rock Overlook will be discernable on river left across from Bair Island (the island located adjacent to the launch). As you near the Holtwood Dam and the lake narrows and shifts West, look to river left to see Pinnacle Overlook. This iconic river overlook is one that provides panoramic views of this section of the river.

Mind the hazard buoys as you approach Holtwood Dam; boating is not allowed between the buoys and the dam. This dam is split into two unique sections; one of which is a dangerous spillway which should be avoided. Keep a look out for floating and subsurface debris that often backs up at the dam after high water events. It is not uncommon to see a flotilla of trees grouped up at the top of the dam.

View from the Pinnacle Overlook

Alternate Route

To begin the paddle from the eastern side of the river, launch at Pequea Boat Ramp.

Pequea Boat Ramp (Terrain 360)


There are seasonal restrooms and interpretive panels located at the boat launch.

Put-In & Take-Out

River Mile 28.5; York Furnace Boat Ramp

York Furnace Boat Ramp (Terrain 360)

More Day Trips in the Lower Section

Muddy Creek Loop

8.7 miles


Marietta to Wrightsville

10 miles (4.17 miles for the alt. route)


Falmouth to Marietta

11 miles


New Market to Middletown

7.25 miles


Conowingo Reservoir Loop

7.5 miles


Columbia to Lock 2 Rec Area

5 miles