Saturday, June 13, 2009

Loyalhanna Creek: (Launch Inflow Access Area off Rt-22 towards Latrobe)

Link: (June 13, 2009) Today I paddled 7.1 miles

This was my first time paddling this section of the Loyalhanna. The launch site is slightly hidden by vegetation, but still easily accessible from the small parking area. My goal was to paddle all the way into Latrobe, but my journey was cut short due to shallow water about three-quarters of a mile past the bridge on Oasis Road. I don't know if this is common, especially since the water level was pretty high today.

Regardless of the setback I did enjoy the section I covered, which included a handful of mini islands to take temporary refuge from the four sets of small rapids that you will have to vigorously paddle through. While the rapids (Class I, II) are a slight challenge they are navigable, however, don't expect to break any speed records going through them as my average speed according to my GPS was just over 1 mph. Keep an eye out for hidden rocks through these sections and fiberglass boats don't even attempt.

My recommendation: I will probably go back, but only after a heavy rain or perhaps I might try again in the fall when the leaves change colors.

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