Paddlers along this section of river will enjoy the calm waters of the Susquehanna as they meander past stepping stones and boulders. In places, the metal rings where the log rafts would tie up for the night are still found, secured in boulders along the river.

Occasional riffles, extended length, and the remote setting of this section garner a moderate difficulty level; however, the beauty of the surrounding wilderness makes the challenges well worth it. Be sure to bring along your binoculars for wildlife sightings, including bald eagles, bears, and great blue herons.

Along the route, the river also varies greatly in depth. Keep an eye on the water for native species that dwell beneath the surface. You might see a variety of fish, turtles, or perhaps Pennsylvania’s state amphibian—the Eastern Hellbender.

While the nature of the paddle is largely remote wilderness, it is bordered on river left by a railroad line and you may very well encounter a train running beside you at one point or another during your trip. The take-out is located on river right just before the Deer Creek Bridge.

Put In

River Mile 163.6: Shawville Access Traveling from the linked point, turn onto T147 road when you reach a T intersection the left, the accesses is on the right.

Take Out

River Mile 148.8: PFBC Frenchville Access Traveling from Frenchville, take State Route 879 West towards Shawville. Turn left onto State Route 1009 (Deer Creek Road). After crossing the Deer Creek Bridge, Access is on the right.

Photo courtesy of Donny Cartwright

This paddle corresponds with sections 4 & 5 in the West Branch Water Trail Map & Guide.

More Day Trips in the West Branch

river and landscape

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12.24 miles


McElhattan to Jersey Shore

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Hyner to Baker Run

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Lock Haven to Williamsport

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