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So you’re ready to explore the waters of Lancaster County but you’re not quite sure where to begin? With so many options for kayaking and boating in this area of Pennsylvania, including the historic Susquehanna River, it can be difficult to know where to go.
But we’ve put together some information to help guide you to some of Lancaster County’s best paddling spots.
Watersports Around Lancaster County (Kayaking, Canoeing, Boating & Everything Else)
Lancaster County is well placed for access to the Susquehanna River in southwestern Pennsylvania. The Susquehanna River Water Trail can be a fun paddling trip in a kayak or canoe with plenty of creeks and islands to explore along the way.
There are several access points along the 53 mile trail, including a public boat launch at Koser Park in Bainbridge. Because of the various access points along the river, there are plenty of opportunities to stop for a picnic.
There are also a few campgrounds along the route if you’d prefer an overnight trip, including Otter Creek, on the York County side of the river, and Susquehannock State Park, closer to the end of the trail near.
Pequea Creek can be a great place for tubing as well as kayaking. It features a combination of calm waters and small rapids as it winds its way into the Susquehanna River. However, there is a small section of Class III rapids in the Pequea Creek Gorge between Martic Forge and Colemanville Bridge.
Video: Kayaking Pequea Creek Rapids
There are a number of put-ins along the creek, including upstream at the Route 272 bridge. There is also river access Sickman’s Mill, where you can rent tubes to float down the creek.
Just a little way after the Class III rapids, there’s the Pequea Creek Campground, where you can spend the night after your trip. This can be a good spot to stop if you’re hoping to continue your paddling adventure along the Susquehanna.
Muddy Run Power Reservoir
The 100 acre lake at Muddy Run Park can be a relaxing place for kayaking, canoeing, boating and fishing (provided you have a PA fishing permit). However, gasoline powered and inflatable vessels are not allowed on the lake.
Video: Muddy Run Park
There’s a boat dock providing access to the lake, which is free if you’re camping in the park. The dock offers live bait for sale if you’re heading out fishing and you can also rent boats, canoes and kayaks.
As well as the lake, there are hiking trails through the 700 acres of woodland and a picnic area, which can make it a fun place for a family trip and it can also be a good spot for wildlife watching.
This is a location for those wanting maximum relaxation (no rapids here!)
The Conestoga River is another river that eventually flows into the Susquehanna River. It’s been designated as a water trail and can be a popular spot for both kayaking and canoeing because of its relaxing scenery and ease of access.
There are several launch and take-out areas for kayaks and canoes, which can make it ideal if you have kids and want to paddle a shorter distance. West Earl Community Park and Stone Quarry Park can be good places to launch your canoe or kayak and allow you to paddle downstream.
The end of the Conestoga River Water Trail is at the point where it meets the Susquehanna River but there are plenty of parks along the way where you can stop for a picnic lunch or a bit of a rest.
No matter where you paddle in Lancaster County, chances are you’re in for a relaxing trip surrounded by nature and peaceful scenery. The waterways in and around Lancaster County can be ideal for exploring the area, whether you’re out for a day trip or several days of adventure.
Have you been on the water in Lancaster County? Tell us about it in the comments section. And remember to share this with your fellow watersports enthusiasts to show them new places to check out.
5 thoughts on “Kayaking, Canoeing And Boating in Lancaster County PA”
Mill Creek at Lancaster County Park. Returning to kayaking after many years away and now A 63 coming back in looking for relaxed kayaking and Class 0 – 1 easy access sections so I can take my wife. For me Class 0 – 2. Exploring Mill Creek at LCP Covered Bridge. Good clear put in under bridge. Parking 50 – 100 yards away (park lot and kept grass to put in. The stream has a very gentle current in this area with some sections having modest current. I paddled up stream from the covered bridge about 1/2 mile + – so far I haven’t seen anything more than a slightly challenging current when paddling up stream. I did not go down stream from the bridge by more than 1500 yards +/-. Lots more to explore and confirm suitable for novice – beginner kayaking. Looking for Mill Creek and Conestoga river put-in / take out locations w parking. Getting to know area. Used to do Muddy Creek. Nice to be back on the water!
Hi Carl. Thanks for sharing! Keep paddling 🙂
The level for Pequea in that video is pretty high. It is normally around 200 cfs. At that level the only class 3 rapid is Suzies Hole, there is a sign warning paddlers of Suzies and there is even a beach with a walkway to a trail right below the sign that will take you below Suzies. After that, there are 2 more class 2 rapids that are short and sweet. You guys are welcome to use any videos of mine for your website. I may even be able to help you guys with videos of kayaking destinations in northeastern Maryland and southeastern PA.
Hi Tristian. Thanks for the comment. Do you have a YouTube channel?
Yes, my YouTube channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ZyjXqGvzq7WSKdrm3S_kA … I am the person who created that video of Pequea. Hope this helps!