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Canoe the Allegheny River

Canoe the Allegheny River
Derek Brown
/ Categories: Activities, Camping

Canoe the Allegheny River

North Western Pennsylvania

WHAT: Canoe Trip WHERE: Allegheny River NEAR: Warren, PA

If you’re looking for great canoe trip experience, the Allegheny river offers a number of options. From very easy single trips to multi-day excursions.

You can create a trip on your own, rent some canoes from BSA Camp Olmsted, or rent canoes or kayaks form Allegheny Outfitters in Warren, PA.

Allegheny Outfitters has a number of pre-planned trips. They have seven overnight trips of varying lengths and prices. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially on weekends and holidays. Large groups of 6 or more canoes typically plan their trips at least a month ahead of time. Trip prices listed below include boat rental, paddles, life jackets, and transportation to and from the start and end points. Tax is not included. Groups of six or more canoes on a weekday get a 10 percent discount. Discounts are available for Scout Troops and Organizations.

Although the majority of our trips are self-guided, the livery’s staff is happy to explain your route ahead of time. You can also purchase a copy of the Allegheny River Paddling Guide, a water resistant river map book that uses text, photos and illustrations to explain the many sites paddlers come across on the first 45 miles of the Allegheny.

Please note: All downriver pick-ups for our overnight trips that end on a weekend begin no earlier than 3pm unless previous arrangements have been made.

What does it sound like to wake up on a wilderness island along the Allegheny? Beautiful!

Trip #1: Allegheny Outfitters to Buckaloons

6.4 miles. Takes 2.5-3.5 hours. $45 per canoe or double kayak (+tax); $40 per single kayak or SUP (+tax).

Paddlers begin near the historic Hickory Street Bridge, arching over the Allegheny like a scene out of a Hallmark card. After leaving Warren, paddlers enter into a scenic area called Starbrick where a few houses and camps dot the riverbank. White-tailed deer hide in the brush while Great Blue Heron wade near the shore looking for fish, frogs and other small prey. This trip ends at Buckaloons Recreation Area, part of the Allegheny National Forest. The campground sits on a former Seneca Indian village and includes a one-mile “Seneca Interpretive Trail” where visitors can learn about several tree types (white pine, sycamore, shagbark hickory, white oak) and the ways in which animals and humans have used the trees over the centuries. The latest pickup at Buckaloons is at 7:00 p.m.

Trip #2: Kinzua Dam to Allegheny Outfitters (Mouth of the Conewango Creek)

9 miles. Takes 3 to 4 hours. $52 (+tax) per canoe or double kayak; $47 (+tax) per single kayak or SUP; $25 if you bring your own boat and would like it shuttled.

Beginning at Kinzua Dam, this trip lets paddlers enjoy the National Wild & Scenic beauty of the upper Allegheny throughout the first 7 miles, plus get a glance at its more industrial side – including ending in historic downtown Warren. At mile 7.5 paddlers must navigate a short but rowdy set of Class I rapids behind United Refinery. From there it’s smooth sailing as you pass under a few old railroad bridges and into Warren where the skyline is punctuated by a flatiron building with a steeple clock on it. There’s no pickup involved – you finish downtown where your vehicle is parked.

Trip #3: Allegheny Outfitters to Wildwood

14 miles. Takes 5 to 6 hours. Two canoe or kayak minimum. $60 per canoe or double kayak (+tax); $55 per single kayak (+tax).

This is our longest day trip – and it isn’t for the weak of heart or arms. The trip covers everything described in Trip 1, and continues downriver past Buckaloons to Wildwood. Paddlers will pass by two federally-designated Wilderness Islands - Crulls (96 acres) and Thompson (67 acres). Paddlers must begin this trip no later than 10:00 a.m. The latest pickup is at 4:30 p.m.

Trip 4: Allegheny Outfitters to Wildwood

14 miles. (No longer a two canoe minimum!)

Two-day (one night) trip, $75.00 (+tax) per canoe; $70 (+tax) per kayak. $95 (+tax) if only taking one canoe.

Three-day (two-night) trip, $95.00 (+tax) per canoe; $90 (+tax) per kayak. $105 (+tax) if only taking one canoe.

Our shortest overnight trip, you'll paddle 14 miles over two days. Paddlers begin at AO downtown, paddling through the small village of Starbrick, down the National Wild & Scenic Allegheny River. Ducks and geese mingle in parks along the riverbank. White-tailed deer hide in the brush while Great Blue Herons wade near the shore looking for fish, frogs and other small prey. This stretch is also home to two federally designated Wilderness Islands, Crulls (96 acres) and Thompson (67 acres). Most paddlers are on the water for roughly 3 hours the first day. The following day, they paddle another couple hours to Wildwood for pick-up.

Trip 5: Kinzua Dam to Wildwood

24 miles. (No longer a two-canoe minimum.)

Two-day (one night) trip, $90 (+tax) per canoe; $85 (+tax) per kayak. $125 (+tax) if only taking one canoe.

Three-day (two night) trip, $100 (+tax) per canoe; $95 (+tax) per kayak. $135 (+tax) if only taking one canoe.

This is our most popular overnight trip. It gives you the best of both worlds: it winds past scenic, remote areas and also takes you through historic downtown Warren - a great place to explore, grab lunch, stop in at AO Store, or just admire as you float by. This stretch is also home to two federally designated Wilderness Islands, Crulls (96 acres) and Thompson (67 acres). The starting point for this trip is 24 miles upriver, at Kinzua Dam - a wonder itself. The trip can be done in two or three days, depending on how far you want to paddle each day.

Trip 6: Allegheny Outfitters to West Hickory

31 miles. Three canoe minimum.

Three-day (two night), $115 (+tax) per canoe; $105 (+tax) per kayak.

Four-day (three night), $125 (+tax) per canoe; $115 (+tax) per kayak.

This journey takes you 31 miles, from AO to West Hickory. Paddlers will pass through historic downtown Warren, encounter all seven of the federally protected Wilderness Islands, large swaths of the Allegheny National Forest and float past the town of Tidioute, pop. 800. For more details on where to stop for supplies, hiking, camping and more, see the Allegheny River Paddling Guide.

Trip 7: Kinzua Dam to Tionesta

45 miles. Three canoe minimum.

Three-day (two night), $130 (+tax) per canoe; $120 (+tax) per kayak.

Four-day (three night), $145 (+tax) per canoe; $135 (+tax) per kayak.

This journey takes you 45 miles, from Kinzua Dam to Tionesta. Paddlers will begin at Kinzua Dam and pass through historic downtown Warren, encounter all seven of the federally protected Wilderness Islands, large swaths of the Allegheny National Forest and float past the town of Tidioute, pop. 800. The trip ends at Tionesta, where visitors will find a 75-foot tall lighthouse not far from the boat launch. For more details on where to stop for supplies, hiking, camping and more, see the Allegheny River Paddling Guide.

Trip 8: Kinzua Dam to President

52 miles. Three canoe minimum.

Three-day (two night), $165 (+tax) per canoe; $150 (+tax) per kayak.

Four-day (three night), $180 (+tax) per canoe; $165 (+tax) per kayak.

This is a popular trip for Scouts and Venture Crews looking to get their 50-mile badge on the Allegheny River. For more details on where to stop for supplies, hiking, camping and more, see the Allegheny River Paddling Guide, or schedule an appointment with one of our trip planners.

Trip 9: Kinzua Dam to Oil City

 

66 miles. Three canoe minimum.

Four-day (three night), $220 (+tax) per canoe; $205 (+tax) per kayak.

Five-day (four night), $245 (+tax) per canoe; $225 (+tax) per kayak.

This trip takes you through the Upper and Lower Middle Allegheny River Water Trail. Please contact us for trip planning details. For more details on where to stop for supplies, hiking, camping and more, see the Allegheny River Paddling Guide.

Trip 10: Kinzua Dam to Emlenton

107 miles. Three canoe minimum.

Five-day (four night), $315 (+tax) per canoe; $295 (+tax) per kayak.

Six-day (five night), $330 (+tax) per canoe; $310 (+tax) per kayak.

This is a popular trip for Scouts and Venture Crews looking to get their 100-mile badge on the Allegheny River. (Discounts available for weekday pick-up.) This trip takes you through the Upper and Lower Middle Allegheny River Water Trail. Please contact us for trip planning details. For more details on where to stop for supplies, hiking, camping and more, see the Allegheny River Paddling Guide.

Allegheny Outfitters
20 Clark Street Ste A
Warren, PA, 16365
814-723-1203

Camp Olmsted, BSA
3123 Roper Hollow Road
Russell, PA, 16345
814-757-8021

 

Schare provided by Derek Brown, Troop 341, Pittsford, NY
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Scouting Type
  • Scouting
  • Venturing
  • Sea Scouts
Phone Number814-723-1203
Website URLwww.alleghenyoutfitters.com/
Street20 Clark Street Ste A
CityWarren
StatePennsylvania
Zipcode/Postal Code16365
CountryUnited States
eMail Addresspiper@alleghenyoutfitters.com
LocationNorth Western, Pennsylvania
Season/Time of YearSpring, Summer, Fall

Derek BrownDerek Brown

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2 comments on article "Canoe the Allegheny River"

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David Madison

From Jerry Spanganberg,Jr. Scoutmaster of Troop 341, Pittsford, NY

For this outing we partnered up with Allegheny Outfitters located in Warren PA https://www.alleghenyoutfitters.com/home-1. We rented the canoes and life jackets from them. On their website, if you go to CANOE + KAYAK RENTALS, you will see different trips. For this outing, we did Trip 7 which is from the base of Kinsua Dam to Tionesta approximately 45 miles downriver. We also bought (2) copies of the Allegheny River Paddling Guide which provides a map of the river, islands and interesting site seeing along the way. AO does do discounts for scouts. We left home and drove to Allegheny State Park and found a free campsite just North of the Dam. These sites are a first come, first serve. We did find a site which wasn’t really conducive to tents, but great availability for hammocks. We got to the outfitters Saturday morning. They already had the canoes loaded onto trailers and fitted everyone for lifejackets. We left our cars in their parking area, loaded into the vans and off we went to the Kinsua Dam. On the river paddling is easy as you almost floated with the current. Depending on winter melt, the rapids along the way can be easy or give you a ride, but the guide will tell you where to go to make the other side. We stopped for lunch at Betts Park south of Warren. We continued on and ended up camping on one of the islands in the center of the river. I think the first one was Crulls Island. It was a beautiful island with lush plants and trees. We pitched tents and hammocks high off the river and had a great dutch oven dinner of roast chicken and veggies. We put in about 16 miles the first day. The next day we set off and had lunch I believe at the Trading Post around mile 33. Day two was a long distance haul. We finally pulled onto an island I think around Siggias or maybe Hemlock. This island was fairly flat. Any way, we were able to set up camp before a major storm past over. We still where able to cook roast pork tenderloin in the dutch oven. The next morning was again beautiful and we set off for Tionesta. When the Tionesta bridge was in site, we called AO for pickup. Right after the bridge is a boat launch. There we pulled out the canoes and waited for our ride back to Warren. Day 3 was the shortest part of our trip. Back at Warren, we packed our vehicles and headed for home in time for dinner on Memorial Day.

We had 12 scouts and 8 adults. If this ever got back on the outings list I would sign up in a heartbeat, even if I go without my son.


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David Madison

From Jerry Spanganberg,Jr. Scoutmaster of Troop 341, Pittsford, NY

We took a similar trip another time out of Camp Olmsted. This was an “out of season” outing that happen at the end of August right before school started back up. We had 6 boys and 5 adults. For this outing we left on a Thursday and drove to a BSA Scout camp called Camp Olmsted. We also rented the canoes and life jackets from them. On Friday morning we set off about 8 miles above the dam heading south. Around 4 miles down the reservoir and the other side of the river, we got to our campsite called Pine Grove Campground. This was another one of those first come first serve sites. Luckily, we where the first ones there and had the pick of the sites. We found a nice one right on the water with plenty of tent sites and hammock trees. Restrooms where not too far. The boys found a rope swing a couple sites down and entertained themselves swinging into the water. Dinner was another tasty dutch oven meal. The next day, we set off to the dam. The wind was blowing north so it was right in our faces making paddling slow; 4 miles of head wind. We finally make it to the dam, grounded the canoes and had lunch. After lunch we set off on foot to get to the base on the dam for fishing. We eventually made it. Unfortunately, the fish were not biting, but we did get some good pictures. We got back in the canoes and made it to our campsite where the boys decided to go into the alcove and swamp the canoes. After a few try’s, they got really good at getting the canoes back out of the water. During the night we could hear rain coming down the valley. Slowly it made it to us and eventually pasted. Sunday morning we loaded the canoes and headed back to the BSA camp where we loaded our vehicles and headed for home.

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