by Ed Evangelidi
Self Shuttling Options - These received on 20 June + 3 July 2020. (I'll try in coming weeks to integrate them into the earlier document. - Alf Cooley)
Not all of us are named Ron Knipling or Ed Gertler who has been known on many occasions to jog or bike shuttles, BUT if you ever get the urge to be out on a river and don't have a second vehicle or just like to hike & bike with a group - here are some popular runs with self shuttle options:
Lehigh River: The bike trail runs most of the way from Walter Dam to the Delaware River so you can paddle the 3 whitewater sections [on release days] or go beyond to explore milder sections that stay up longer and are rarely paddled by people in our area. The whitewater section is over 30 miles with Rockport conveniently being near the midpoint.
Delaware River: If coming down the Lehigh, why stop at the mouth? The convenient [this time canal trail] goes downstream more than 50 miles towards Philadelphia. Lots of access points to break up this trip & a canal part way too [19 miles] on the Joisey side.
Millstone & Raritan River: I'm not pushing a megapaddle here but these two rivers kinda touch the Delaware and have the adjoining Delaware & Raritan Canal [over 30 miles] to walk, bike [or paddle!] your shuttle.
Tohickon Creek: Except for a wee bit of nasty uphill walking on Cafferty Rd., the Tohickon whitewater shuttle is on nice hiking trails [can be biked] with great views of the rapids.
Schuylkill River: Check Pa. web sites for sections with adjoining trail, and pretty reliable water.
Little Juniata River: While the trail ends just above the best whitewater, the section above Tyrone is still quite pleasant. Does need a good rain tho.
Pine Creek: Want to combine a great gorge paddle with a great gorge bike trail? It's hard to beat this combination. While the gorge "only" lasts for 17 miles, the creek is still a beautiful run for days down to the West Branch Susquehanna with the bike trail and occasional bars providing comfort along the way.
Casselman River: Besides the 3 sections of whitewater, the bike trail also allows you to explore a few lesser paddled sections.
Youghiogheny River: With more bikers now going along the river than boaters down the river, the trail from the Casselman River to the mouth is highly recommended for shuttling.
Blacklick Creek: This great gem is slowly being discovered by whitewater boaters and bikers. The bike trail covers a mellower and much longer upper section and the classic Class 3 section.
Kiskiminetas River: The paddling section from Saltsburg to Apollo has sections of trail for trips.
Potomac River: There is rumored to be 184 miles of trail from Cumberland to Washington D.C. with camping spots along the way. The Paw Paw Bends section is perhaps the finest.
North Branch Potomac River: From Barnum downstream about 4 miles is a nice trail that has been walked or biked by many a whitewater boater. You do have to schlep your boat up to Blue Hole however to end the shuttle.
Fifteen Mile Creek: There is a hiking trail here from the upper limits of runability to the Potomac with some C&O canal walking needed at the bottom.
Rock Creek: Hiker & biker trails are found here from Maryland to the Potomac.
Little Patuxent River: From Columbia to Savage and from Murrah Hill Rd. to Savage on the Middle Patuxent is a hiking trail to get you into this whitewater trip.
Patapsco River & North & South Branch Patapsco: Hiking trails here connect a lot of river from above Gaither Gorge to I-95 but you should know the trail systems to be able to connect the many trails needed.
Gunpowder Falls: Extensive hiking trails connect in much of the river from the Pennsylvania line to below I-95. All of the rapids sections are easy to hike.
Tuckahoe Creek: This creek is within a state park and trails can be followed down to Rt. 404.
Accotink Creek, Bull Run, Cub Run, Difficult Run, Four Mile Run, Goose Creek, Occoquon Creek, Pohick Creek: These urban streams all have nice trails running alongside for easy walking. [Thank sewer lines right of way for many of these trails.]
Rappahannock River, James River: Again we have urban whitewater fall line streams with nice hiking trails [that can be biked] along side .
Jackson River: Below Gathright Dam is a nice 13 section with a bike trail. Try this on a summer week day water release.
New River: The New River Trail State Park is essentially a bike trail along the mid section of the river for many miles and allows for numerous access points.
New River: West Virginia has many walkable sections too. The Sandstone section can be walked on the lightly used shuttle road. The Glade Run section also. The Gorge Section has a trail also.
Glady Fork of the Cheat River: The looooong Allegheny Hiking Trail uses pretty much most of the 3 sections of Glady Fork to cover territory.
Cheat River: While unfinished with loose gravel, the Cheat Narrows trail mostly on river right goes from Rowlesburg to WV 7.
Elk River: A rail-trail is u.c. along a long section of the Lower Elk - 10 miles from Duck to Ivydale is open. This is boatable because of dam releases for downstream commercial navigation. It is nice and temote with few houses in sight.
Back Fork of the Elk River: The little used shuttle road can be easily hiked.
Gauley River: Limited access on non release days on the Middle Gauley on both river right & river left below the Meadow River.
Greenbrier River: A 77 mile rail trail allows for pleasant sectional paddling from Cass to near Lewisburg.
Etc: I've only hit some of the big ones in our area. I'm sure many of you have already hiked along some other great streams. One of the many great trips that I have heard of was a long trip on the Potomac with paddlers and bikers rotating days on the river and on the trail.
Some more southern options: South Fork Holston using Virginia Creeper Trail; Cumberland River near Ashland City Tn & Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail; Big South Fork River & Ledbetter Trail near Stearns Ky; lower Green River & Green River Cove Trail near Saluda, NC; Ocoee Whitewater Center & Rhododendron Trail TN, etc.
Some more one vehicle paddling trips 23 June 2020
Luray is a nice town to visit in the Shenandoah Valley and the town has a nice bike trail thru town that allows for a paddle on Hawksbill Creek. The small [Cl 1] creek is somewhat channelized and holds water better than most creeks its size.
Another nice Shenandoah Valley town with a bike trail & creek flowing thru town is Front Royal & Happy Creek. The creek does have some dangerous man made junk in it and should be carefully scouted before running.
Many boaters have enjoyed the beautiful Dry Fork River in WV and some have paddled the long section along the shuttle road downstream of Gladwin to gorge themselves on almost endless surfing waves.
Another smaller nice surfing area is the N. Br. Potomac at Kitzmiller with an expanding bike trail system.
The Blackwater River in WV needs no reminder of the bike trail to those who paddle it.
The beautiful Bluestone River has two whitewater sections with a developing trail and a mellower section with a nice trail between Pipestem and Bluestone state parks.
The long lower Elk River in WV is another river with a developing rail trail.
The West Fork River in WV has a bike trail along much of it and a trip can be extended downstream into the Momnongahelia too. However, much of the river is in pool with a series of dams.
The Cheat River actually has a bottom section in Pennsylvania rarely paddled and often up and I have enjoyed attaining up the river & back down.
Closer to home, I have attained up the often running Conococheague Creek to the Pennsylvania line with one short carry.
Sleepy Creek Lake in WV is a long narrow lake worth considering.
Another long narrow lake is Savage River Lake with a beautiful upper section.
The Tygart River in Philippi has a section that I have attained with a carry around a man made rapid. The Buckhannon River in Buckhannon has a nice easy 6 mile pool that is always available.
Great Trough Creek in Pennsylvania has a short section in a park that is easily walkable.
The Brandywine River & Swatara Creek both have sections that are walkable.
The Top Yough in Maryland has a nice trail along the best section of the run. Also, one can do a mellower Class 2 section in the town of Friendsville on release days.
Another well known & well paddled whitewater river is Slippery Rock in Pennsylvania and nice trails follow along much of the whitewater section. The trails there remind me of the trails along the Savage River whitewater course in Maryland.
The James River in downtown Richmond has walkable trails on both sides of the river [south side best for self shuttling.] Both the Cl 3 and the Cl 2 sections have trails but it is a little tough to connect both sections into one trip.
The Appomattox River unfortunately only has a trail along the section below the whitewater section.
Jones Falls will hopefully have releases and shuttle services again.