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Marked Maps of the Susquehanna's Upper Conowingo Pool for un-sale



I got tired of handwriting (trying and failing to be legible) notations on the photocopies of my handout topo map of the upper Conowingo Pool. This fascination place:


That topo map photocopy already contained all of the major islands and names, tributaries, Rte 372/Norman Wood Bridge, the upstream Holtwood Dam and sundry roads, trails and camps. I finally got wise, printed and glued arrowed notations pointing towards the other interesting stuff, and had 20 copies made. The notations include:

The no-permit-required launch at Cold Cabin

The funky famous backwoods kayak shop, Starrk Moon, en route downhill to that put in
(Follow directions to that address – 497 Cold Cabin Rd, Delta PA 17314 – keep driving downhill and you will come to the Susquehanna and the no-permit-required launch)

The permit-required PA Fish Commission put-in. If you have a permit the Fish Commission launch, just south of Boeckel Landing at the bottom of River Road, is much more convenient to paddle-access the most interesting stuff further uplake.

The Susquehanna & Tidewater Canal aqueduct stonework remains. That is some seriously massive rockwork, using much larger stones than in the typical lock construction.

The last falls on Muddy Creek. Paddle up that slow/slack water creek if you have time. Past the camps at the confluence Muddy Creek becomes steep riparian valley Mt. Laurel scenic. There is a favorite place little beach and swimming hole immediately below the falls, one shallow worth-it wade-over riffle along the way upstream. If WW paddlers upstream on Muddy Creek bite it on the various drops and falls above you can collect their floating detritus and be regarded, and sometimes rewarded, as a hero. Fun times there.

The hidden paddle-in grotto on the NW tip of Big Chestnut Island (watch for skinks) and the impressive “Battleship bow” projecting cliff face along the Wolf Islands (watch for armor piercing 16” shells).

Two possible attainment routes from the slack-ish water York County side to the more moving water Lancaster County side. The main stem current below the dam runs along the east bank, and crosses over west between Lower Bear and Big Chestnut islands. With a SE wind that can become a delightfully easy paddle up, cross over, float back round trip.

Possible”, if either eastward attainment is running white capped and frothy, maybe don’t try. Or do, and let me know how it went; it is possible with some energetic paddling, strategic eddy hopping, and half way up WTF have I gotten myself into?

The general vicinity of some impressive rock whirls, not including the less impressive ones east of Peavine Island (peninsula). Check out the giant paddle in whirl, and get out to look at the ones 20’ atop the cliffs. That shit took eons to grind down at natural river flood stage.

Some (but not all) of the sandy beaches; I trust y’all can recognize a sandy beach when you see one.

I ramble on as usual. If you are a SE Pennsylvania or NE Maryland paddler, or anyone who might take a day paddle thereabouts, and want an annotated map, please send me your postal address and I’ll stick one in the mail. That is a very cool and mid-Atlantic unique area in which to day paddle.

Unless you already have my Gmail address a Canoe Tripping “Guest Message” works best.

Act now, before I obscure the rest of the topo copy by adding more arrows and text notations to the Master copy.

Where C2G lost his sandal (singular)
Where C2G lost a heavier-than-water GPS.
Where C2G and Chip lost everything, damn near including the boat
Where I lost my virginity, or at least my waterborne virginity (dual Merc outboard power boat)
The island, mentioned by Rachel Carson, that pre-DDT supported nesting eagles. And now does again.
The “Tail Race” below the Holtwood dam turbines, which I once ran with three adults stuffed in a 15’ aluminum canoe. Hint: Yeah, don’t do that.

There is paddle-in camping allowed there, but most islands have become an over-used motorboat accessible mess, and if that is a weekend objective I’d scout out a lesser used site first.
Oct 22, 2014
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Oh, oh, I want one! Damn, this was the week I was going to stop by Mike's shop, too. Didn't happen, but sometime soon.


Going out in today’s mail.

I included a bonus map showing the trailhead for a short scenic streamside hike just south of Holtwood dam (park at the last concrete bridge south of Holtwood, walk uphill)