Friday, June 26, 2009

Mahoning Creek Lake: (Milton Loop Boat Launch to Dam)

Link: (June 26, 2009) Today I paddled 14.0 miles (PR)

The DO's and DO NOT's of Mahoning Creek Lake... DO NOT head left (East) out of the launch site at Milton Loop because you will encounter numerous obstacles such as rocks, hidden and exposed, that will take the enjoyment out of a phenomenal place to paddle. I did manage to travel about a 1.5 miles before my luck and ability to navigate the terrain ran out.

DO head right (West) out of the launch site because you will experience some of the best paddling in the state, which includes spectacular and diverse scenery. Luscious vegetation surrounds the area, but scattered throughout are large boulders where you can take a snack break and a handful of marsh like areas to watch the heron search for an afternoon meal.

If you decide to go all the way to the dam it is 5.5 miles away. The good news is you won't have to worry about any high-powered boats because Mahoning Creek Lake has a 10 horsepower restriction.

Mahoning Creek Lake: Additional Pics

Mahoning Creek Lake: Bird Pics

Mahoning Creek Lake: Bird Pics (2)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keystone Lake

(June 24, 2009): Today I paddled 5.3 miles
This is my second trip to Keystone Lake this month, so check out the photos from my June 19 trip as well. Again, I hit the water early in the morning with a thick cloud of fog still consuming much of the lake. As I paddled the shoreline I headed in the direction of the dam, which is 2.65 miles away from the main launch site near Atwood. The morning conditions were ideal as I found plenty of inspiration in my latest photos. Enjoy!

Keystone Lake: Additional Pics

Keystone Lake: Additional Pics

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Crooked Creek Lake

Link: (June 20, 2009) Today I paddled 11.9 miles

You are certain to double your pleasure at Crooked Creek; it not only has Great scenery but Great kayaking as well. Expect the hours to quickly pass by, especially if you have a camera with you. On this day, I snapped more than a 100 photos of which I included some of my favorites.

I first discovered Crooked Creek earlier in the Spring, but it wasn't as dense as it was today. It made spotting wildlife a little more challenging, but fortunately I marked a few special spots with my GPS (Garmin 76CSx) last time out and was able to find the eagle's nest and a handful of blue heron. Unfortunately, the pictures weren't to my liking, so I guess this gives me an excuse to go back to this gem later in the summer.

Crooked Creek Lake: Additional Pics

Crooked Creek Lake: Additional Pics

Friday, June 19, 2009

Keystone Lake

(June 19, 2009) Today I paddled 5.5 miles

Whatever you do don't confuse Keystone Lake (Armstrong County) and the lake at Keystone State Park (Westmoreland County) because the latter is only a fraction of the size.

Upon leaving the south shore launch near Atwood you have two options. Going left will take you to the larger section of the lake, and right will take you to a more secluded area, which is a prime fishing location. If you continue in this direction you will traverse through a wetlands region, which leads into the North Branch of Plum Creek, but you can only go an additional half-mile before your path is obstructed.

As you turn around and head back to your original destination keep heading SW. This will steer you in the direction of the dam and much more open water, but despite the vastness the waters are pretty calm, especially during the morning hours.

Keystone Lake: Additional Pics