Paddling NW Pa and NW NY

All photos on this page are click-able to view larger images

Tuna Creek Trips including maps:

Paddling the Tuna
Paddling The Tuna Creek

Allegany River Trips including map:

    Paddling the Allegany
Paddling The Allegany River
Two trips, short and long.

VISIT: Snow and Rain adventures Inc. Their web address is, 1-866-889-7272. e-mail address, The owners are a nice young couple Trevor and wendy Heberlein

From Tony and Patty B.

One of our favorite canoe trips is the Allegheny River in Warren County, PA.
The most popular put-in is at the Visitor Center just below Kinzua Dam. The stretch of river from the dam down to the city of Warren, Pa. is about 8 miles. The current in this stretch is generally moving right along making this quite easy to paddle. The only white water you'll see is when you're nearly past the refinery. It's nothing to difficult.

Once you enter downtown Warren the confluence of the Conewango Creek is on your right. You have traveled about 8 miles. After Warren the river widens some and the current seems to drop-off. Approximately another 7 1/2 miles below Warren you will come to Buckaloons National Forest Recreation Area on river right. If you're looking for a regular campsite with a picnic table, fire-ring, and access to a pit toilet on the grounds, this is the place to stay. If you decide to "rough-it" a bit, Crulls Island, along with several other islands, are just beyond the Buckaloons. Either the Buckaloons or one of the islands are a nice place to spend the night. The second day your destination will be Tidioute. Tidioute is approx. 15 miles downstream from Buckaloons. There are more islands scattered along the way, so time your stop to find an island before Tidioute. Some of the islands on the river are public, some are private. However, we have never experienced any problems camping on any of the islands. If it's posted private, stay off. If Tidioute is your pullout, the boat ramp is on your right, just before the bridge.

The third day your destination will be Tionesta, about 14 miles down stream from Tidioute. This pullout can be a little tricky to see until you're nearly by it. So when you drop off your shuttle vehicle make certain you locate some landmarks for the pullout on river left. If you like to fish there is a healthy population of smallmouth bass and walleye. You are also likely to see Bald Eagles along the way. We have seen them on several different occasions.

The river is lined with camps in some areas and quite isolated in other areas. There is some industry near Warren but you're by it before it becomes bothersome. In case of an emergency you're really never too far from help as Routes 59,Route 6 or Route 62 parallel the river at some point of your journey. Depending on the flow of the river, the various islands from the dam down to Tidioute present a chance for more encounters with wildlife, deer, geese, ducks, other assorted furred and feathered friends. If you have time, leave the main channel and take the less traveled side of the islands. Here, in the backwaters, you'll find many animals at rest. However, if the river is down, you'll likely end up dragging the canoe for a bit as some of these areas are quite shallow.

For river flow we use the USGS gauge in Warren, PA. and also the West Hickory gauge for the Allegheny river. We look for a flow of 2300 and up for a fully loaded canoe.

Tionesta to Oil City:
This is approximately a 20 mile trip. In Tionesta, we leave our vehicle on river left, just beyond the Rt. 62 bridge over the river, at a public parking area. We use a shuttle service to move our vehicle down to Oil City. The take -out in Oil City is on river right, just beyond the Holiday Inn and nearly under the bridge. This day trip will take about 6 hours of average paddling with the normal snack and lunch breaks. You're very likely to see Bald Eagles on this stretch, as well as hawks, ducks and geese. Turtle Bay B & B is on river left.

Franklin to Emlenton:
This is my favorite 2 day outing on the Allegheny River. The put-in on river right is a few blocks south of the Rt. 322 bridge in Franklin. This is a well maintained state boat launch. This stretch of the Allegheny always seemed to be a bit more remote than the upper sections. Fewer camps and cottages to distract from the beauty of the mountain surroundings. We use a shuttle service to move our vehicle down to Emlenton. The take-out is on river left under the bridge in Emlenton. From the take out you can see the I-80 bridge spanning high over head over the river valley. It takes about 5 hours to get from Franklin to the Danner Rest Area of Clear Creek State forest of the Allegheny River Tract on river right. The Danner Rest Area is situated on a long narrow bench, paralleling the river for 2-3 tenths of a mile. The sites have a picnic table and fire ring. The camping area also has a pit toilet facility. A short walk up the trail from the pit toilet, take a right on the horse trail and you'll come to a mountain spring that has been piped through a stone wall. The water is probably safe for horses to drink, but we still filter or treat it before drinking it. The next morning you'll have another 5 or so hours of easy paddling before arriving at Emlenton. On the second day the river has a bit more drop and you'll encounter some faster current in spots.

It wasn't that many years ago that it was a rarety to see Bald Eagles on the Allegheny. Now, it has become a rarety not to spot the majestic eagle on the river. I hope you enjoy the river trip as much as we do.

Tony and Patty B

These were sent in from a very courageous kayaker:





Hydrologic Resources

  • Text Products
  • Past Precipitation
  • Forecast Precipitation
  • River Forecast Centers

  • Additional Resources

  • National Significant River Flood Outlook
  • Northeast River Forecast Center

  • The National Weather Service prepares its forecasts and other services in collaboration with agencies like the US Geological Survey, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Army Corps of Engineers, Natural Resource Conservation Service, National Park Service, ALERT Users Group, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and many state and local emergency managers across the country. For details, please click here.

    International Scale of River Difficulty

    The classes below are the American version of the rating system used throughout the world. This system is not exact. Rivers do not always fit easily into one category and there may be regional interpretations. This information is from American Whitewater.

  • Class I: Easy - Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Self-rescue is easy.
  • Class II: Novice - Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers.
  • Class III: Intermediate - Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid and which can swamp an open canoe. Complex maneuvers in fast current and good boat control in tight passages or around ledges is often required. Strong eddies and powerful current effects can occur.
  • Class IV: Advanced - Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise boat handling in turbulent water. May be large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages demanding fast maneuvers under pressure. Rapids require “must” moves above dangerous hazards. Self-rescue is difficult.

  • Paddling The Tuna Creek
    (also know as the TUNUNGWANT)

    All photos on this page are click-able to view larger images

    Tuna creek- Section One:

    This is a trip on the Tuna Creek (also know as the TUNUNGWANT), from Bradford Pa. to Limestone NY. This is a fairly slow, meandering creek (or river). It's perfect for canoes as well as kayaks, or even inflatables.

    there is at least one real nice deep sand "beach" along the way (a prominent sand bar).

    The launch is at Bolivar Drive in Bradford, Just off the Foster Brook exit on 219. This is the first exit on 219 for Bradford if you are coming from the north (Rt 86/17). It's normally a 1 1/2 to 2 hour trip down to "Rockin' Rick's" in Limestone. It's 3.91 miles in the creek (by boat). We pull out where the Tuna crosses Limestone Run Road.

    You can print out the full sized version of the first map below. It shows the creek trip, the start/finish, and the nearby roads.

    Printable Map- Click to enlarge

    Printable Topo/Photo Map- Click to enlarge

    Directions to the Tuna Creek kayak/canoe trip.

    Directions from the north of Bradford, West (Jamestown, Buffalo, Erie) and East (Olean, Cuba, Wellsville).

    Coming from NY state (east or west). Get off Rt 86 (formerly rt 17) at the "Bradford Limestone" exit. Head south on rt 219 (toward Bradford/Limestone). Get off Rt 219 at the first Bradford exit (Foster Brook). The end of the exit is Bolivar Drive. Make a left onto Bolivar Drive, and go back UNDER the expressway (219) . There is a small trail head on the left (pull into the chain link fence) near the creek just past the underpass. This is where we will start from. It's a small parking lot near the creek.

    Directions from south of Bradford:

    From 219 south into Bradford, take the last Bradford exit (Foster Brook). At the end of the exit, make a right onto Bolivar Drive. IMMEDIATELY after crossing the river, the trail head parking lot is on the right. Pull in the driveway between the chain link fences.

    Here are pic's from a trip we did Saturday Mar 26th. It's sort of a "mini virtual tour" for those who has never been on the Tuna Creek.

    Click the image to view full size

    The "Crook Farm Trail" trailhead where we will start

    This is the end of the trip (pic taken from bridge where we end)

    This is the parking lot at the end of the trip

    Tuna creek- Section Two:

  • Wednesday April 13th at 5 PM (4:30 to set cars) we are going to do a trip down the Tuna Creek from "Rockin' Ricks" in Limestone NY to Irvine Mills Bridge. This trip will take about an hour and a half to two hours. It (now) gets dark at 8:00 or so. Wednesday will be 55 and sunny ... so this should be a real nice early season trip .... BUT you must have a wetsuit (I have several to loan).

  • Tuna Creek Trip Map:
    "Section Two"


    Hi John,
    I'm Don Shelters with the Zoar Valley Paddling Club and a good friend of Bruce Kershner's. A good friend of mine opened up a new raft company with the best self bailing rafts in Gowanda. His name is Trevor Heberline. His company is Snow And Rain Adventures, phone # is 1-866-889-7272 the address is 77 South Water St. Gowanda, N.Y. 14070. He has good rates, great new self bailing boats and some of the more experienced guides.

    Could you please post his information on your web site? Thank you in advanced.

    I live in East Otto, 5 minutes from the main or south branch and plan on meeting you on one of your hikes. Keep up the great work in Zoar (website etc....) We have started a not for profit group called Cattaraugus Creek Watershed Task Force. we are a diverse group with many concerns for the whole watershed.

    Peace, Stay connected, Don

    Paddling Zoar Valley - Gowanda, NY

    All photos on this page are click-able to view larger images

    outdoors/zoarv11.JPG     outdoors/zvly58     outdoors/zvly10.jpg
    Just above Gowanda          Passing Knife Edge Ridge          Paddling through the "Gallery of the Giants"

    Mick McMillan


    Kayaking in Zoar Valley

    This was supposed to be a large trip! Nearly everybody cancled on us! I guess the weather was suposed to be bad, but we lucked out and it was a perfect day! The trip was Mick, Dave R, Mandy, Jake, and I. We took one truck and two cars to carry 5 boats.

    We were on the water at 12 noon, but didn't come off the water until about 5:50. It was a long and fun day. I got to photo some waterfalls I missed out on on previous trips and we had a great lunch on the beach (Blue Boat Beach). After lunch, we climbed Knife Edge Ridge and logged a Geocache that is at the top. We also met two different groups of people and dogs at the top of the canyon.

    The water level was about 2.25 on the Gowanda guage so we had a fun, but slow trip. The only other boaters we saw was a family in a raft.

    There was only one guy at the nudie beach as we past. It was a cooler day and partly cloudy and most nudist won't dare to cross the creek (confluance) when the water is at 2 feet and above.

    All in all it was a real fun day. Too bad everybody cancled out on this great trip!

    outdoors/zoarmay15th1.JPG     outdoors/zoarmay15th13.jpg     outdoors/zoarmay15th6.JPG
    Pic's from May 15th 2005

    outdoors/zoarmay15th7.JPG     outdoors/zoarmay15th8.JPG     outdoors/zoarmay15th2.JPG
    Pic's from May 15th 2005

    outdoors/zoarmay15th3.JPG     outdoors/zoarmay15th4.JPG     outdoors/zoarmay15th5.JPG
    Pic's from May 15th 2005

    outdoors/zoarmay15th12.JPG     outdoors/zoarmay15th9.JPG     outdoors/zoarmay15th10.JPG
    Pic's from May 15th 2005

    Here are some helpful links to find out just how much water is flowing in the creek. You might want to check it out before hiking (in the stream), kayaking, canoing or anything that might involve crossing the stream.

    Zoar Valley State Multiple Use Area

    The Zoar Valley State Multiple Use Area (MUA) is a 2927 acre state owned multi use area located in the Town of Otto, Cattaraugus County. Zoar Valley Gorge is centered around the Cattaraugus Creek, and the South Branch of the Cattaraugus Creek. White water rafting is popular on the Cattaraugus Creek, along with hiking, exploring, photography (with many scenic waterfalls) and sunbathing, bird watching, among other interests. These state lands are included in the towns of Otto, Persia, and Collins. This is a VERY dangerous area, so take great care! Some people may want to be aware, there is an area with nude sunbathing and skinny-dipping. Although there have been (false) reports that the "Nude Area" is no more, the "Nudie Beach" (upstream from Valentine's Flats) is quite popular, and going strong. Although "swimming" is officially banned, all summer long, you will see people playing in the water, up and down the creek! There are many waterfalls in the area, some are called "cascades" that rain down from the cliffs that reach heights of 500 feet! NOTE: The MUA and Deer Lick Conservancy ends upstream from the Bear Point oxbow, and it is PRIVATE PROPERTY from Deer Lick Sanctuary to further upstream (on the South Branch). PLEASE do not trespass by hiking off the Zoar MUA property. I provided several detailed maps (among the photos below) that you can print out as a guide for hiking, kayaking and exploring.

    From Buffalo (I-90), take US Route 62 south to Gowanda. In Gowanda, take the fifth left (east) on E. Hill St (0.6 miles after crossing the creek). Drive to Broadway Road (0.6 miles). Head south (right) on Broadway Road until reaching Point Peter Road (0.7 miles). Turn east (left) onto Point Peter Road.
    From the south, Jamestown, Take 62 into Gowanda, look for E Hill Street on your right, then drive to Broadway Road (0.6 miles). Head south (right) on Broadway Road until reaching Point Peter Road (0.7 miles). Turn east (left) onto Point Peter Road.
    From the south, Salamanca, Olean, Bradford Pa, take 353 (Salamanca) to 62 at Dayton and go right into Gowanda. Then, look for E Hill Street on your right, then drive to Broadway Road (0.6 miles). Head south (right) on Broadway Road until reaching Point Peter Road (0.7 miles). Turn east (left) onto Point Peter Road.
    Valentine Flats Road is 1.0 mile from Broadway Road, with a parking lot at the end.
    Forty Road is the next left after Valentine's and has a large parking lot.
    Map of the general area showing points of interest
    Map of the South Branch parking areas
    Map of the "downstream" section W/Text

    For Rafting Information Call:


    (716) 532-2221  (800) 724-0696

    Snow And Rain Adventures
    phone # is 1-866-889-7272
    77 South Water St. Gowanda, N.Y. 14070.


    Rafting and Kayaking is one of the biggest attractions in our region. There are several bodies of water in which to enjoy a full day of fun and excitement. For general guidelines on our local rivers and creeks - click here. Kayaking

    Allegheny River - The 54-mile trip on the Allegheny River, devoid of dams, can be made without interruption at sufficient water heights. At Clean, two large pipes crossing the River's bed may cause a problem during low water. Near the Junction of the Tunungwant Creek, vertical log piles are concealed below the water surface. Log piles are also present in other locations, especially above Portville.

    At Salamanca, a shallow rift occurs above and below the bridge. There are also some rifts between Salamanca and Red House.

    From Vandalia to the Allegheny Reservoir, most of the trip is through the Seneca Nation of Indians' Reservation. The trip through the Allegheny Reservoir can be rated smooth to rough depending on the wind.

    Cattaraugus Creek - Cattaraugus Creek offers the most interesting canoeing stream in Western New York. It must be approached with CAUTION. It is challenging, secluded in sections, and very beautiful.

    For detailed information on Cattaraugus Creek water levels and safety information - click here.

    The entire length of Cattaraugus Creek, can be run season long (Spring through Fall). Some sections of the Cattaraugus Creek, especially the stretch through Zoar, should NOT be run at any time except by experienced canoeists accompanied by someone who knows the Creek.

    The white water enthusiast may wish to take a wet and wild river trip by rafting through Zoar Valley. These white-water rafting trips are by reservation only. Make your reservations early in the Spring to assure high water for rafting.

    Cattaraugus Creek, South Branch - When running the South Branch of Cattaraugus Creek, one should proceed with caution especially in the area between Skinner Hollow Road and Forty Road. It is noted that you will find a 6-foot river-wide waterfall, (height varies 15 to 20 feet) on a blind corner. Here the water flows into a horseshoe shaped drop with recirculating currents. Following is another 6foot drop with a potential pinning situation. Run this creek only if you are with someone who has run it before. Not recommended in high water.

    Conewango Creek - This creek is a slow meandering stream with many overhanging trees. Portage is required around occasional fallen trees. A beaver dam one-mile north of the mouth of Little Conewango may necessitate portage. The first 5 miles below Conewango Valley flow sluggishly through a straight State drainage ditch. The stream's redeeming feature is a delightful series of easy rifts, 3 miles long, from the Route 17 bridge at Waterboro to Kennedy after which it joins the Allegheny River at Killbuck.

    Great Valley Creek - The water level of the Great Valley Creek, which meanders through the valley, is for the most part seasonal. At high water, this Creek can be run from Ellicottville to the point where it joins the Allegheny River at Killbuck.

    Ischua Creek - This is an unusually fine run among hills. During the Spring, it offers intermediate challenge to the canoe enthusiast. There are occasional tricky spots under the bridges and along railroad grades. Dead falls are the biggest problem. This creek can only be run in high water.

    Oil Creek - Oil Creek is an excellent spring and fall waterway. It meanders through farmland and wooded areas. One may encounter a few log jams. In the area of Wagner Hill Road, one will encounter rock and rubble. Oil Creek is an area with an abundance of wildlife.

    Olean Creek - This is a continuation of the Ischua and Oil Creeks. Moderately high water would make tire trip from Hinsdale to the Allegheny River a relaxing one. However, the Olean Creek is shallow and cannot be run most of the year. Some snags as well as some fast, sharp turns may be encountered.

    Oswayo Creek - An abundance of wildlife and waterfowl can be seen on the Oswayo Creek. This creek is canoeable from Shinglehouse, Pennsylvania to a point where it meets the Allegheny River near Portville, New York.

    Zoar Valley Whitewater Rafting - Zoar Valley is located only an hour's drive south of Buffalo, New York. Transversing some of the most spectacular scenery in Western New York, it remains virtually hidden due to its difficult access. Certain sections of the gorge can be seen from several remote vantage points, but by far, the best view can be had from the river far below.

    Below is a listing of place you can raft or kayak:

    Zoar Valley Paddling Club
    9457 Harvey Road
    Cattaraugus, New York 14719
    Phone: (716) 257-9750

    Adventure Calls Outfitters, Inc.
    South Water Street
    Gowanda, New York 14070
    Phone: 585-343-4710
    Alt. Phone: 1-888-724-0696

    Snow and Rain Adventures, Inc.
    77 South Water Street
    Gowanda, New York 14070
    Phone: 1-866-889-7272

    Zoar Valley Canoe & Rafting
    Gowanda, New York 14070
    Phone: (716) 679-7238
    Alt. Phone: 1-800-724-0696


    Back to the Outdoors Main Page

      Stoneman Guitars Main Page


    Use this handy Site Search
    to search keywords on this site


    NEW! FAQ! Frequently asked Questions Page

    All text and photos on this page © John V Stoneman