Whitewater Boating at Lehigh Gorge


A major attraction of the park is whitewater boating. This section of the Lehigh River is Class II - III whitewater and is popular for rafting, kayaking and canoeing. The river passes through deep, steep-walled gorge, thick vegetation, rock outcroppings and waterfalls.


A major attraction of the park is whitewater boating. This section of the Lehigh River is Class III whitewater and is popular for rafting, kayaking and canoeing. All boaters must enter and leave the Lehigh River at designated sites. River flow is controlled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Francis E. Walter Dam and by streams flowing into the river throughout the park. Flow rates from the dam and scheduled water release dates are available at the U.S. Geologic Survey Web site: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis or call the Hickory Run State Park office. 570-443-0400

All boaters are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device. Type I, III or V vests designed for whitewater use are required.

Flow Rates: At flows below 250 cubic feet per second (cfs), the river is very low and many parts are not deep enough for boating.
From 250 to 1,000 cfs, the river becomes better for boating.
Above 1,000 cfs, the level of difficulty becomes progressively greater and higher levels of skill and better equipment are necessary.
At levels above 5,000 cfs, only expert boaters, in kayaks, closed canoes or very large rafts should attempt the river.

Trip Lengths: River trips may be of three lengths:
 

  • White Haven to Rockport – 8.7 miles
  • Rockport to Glen Onoko – 12.2 miles
  • White Haven to Glen Onoko – 20.9 miles

 

The White Haven to Glen Onoko trip by raft may take from 10 to 12 hours at lower water levels. Be sure to allow enough time to complete your trip before dark.