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Whitewater Rafting in Pennsylvania

Spent a couple days in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. Rich with forest and some major up and down country highways, it is a very scenic area of an already scenic state. My first activity was whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River which runs through Ohiopyle Park. (Good place to camp and hike; the Great Allegheny Passage trail allows you to bike or hike from here all the way to D.C.

The river section I rafted features a bit of class 3 and 4 rapids with a decent amount of flat water in between. I went with a great outfitter called Ohiopyle Outfitters which specializes in smaller groups. Generally one guide to the raft and 3-4 hours on the water with a short shore break for sandwiches and lemonade. The first set of rapids took down one of the three rafts in my group. All 6 passengers, guide included, went into the drink. This was moments after all our instructions and we all acted accordingly picking up the floaters and pulling them into our raft. It was a nice lesson in taking even the less intimidating rapids quite seriously and yet not being to fearful of an overturned raft.

We saw endangered mergansers, diving ducks that nest high in sycamore trees. Their young simply drop out of the nest and – hopefully – into the water. That might have something to do with why they are endangered.

Kevin Revolinski

Author, travel writer/photographer, world traveler. Writes about travel, hiking, camping, paddling, and craft beer.

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