Youghiogheny River Water Trail Northern Section Connellsville to McKeesport
Map & Guide Photo by Dennis Tubbs
Water trails are recreational waterways on a lake, river, or ocean between specific points, containing access points and day-use and/or camping sites for the boating public. Water trails emphasize low-impact use and promote stewardship of the resources. Explore this unique Pennsylvania water trail. For your safety and enjoyment: • Always wear a life jacket • Obtain proper instruction in boating skills • Know fishing and boating regulations • Be prepared for river hazards Photo by Brad Clemenson
• Carry proper equipment
THE HISTORIC YOUGH
PENNSYLVANIA BOATING REGULATIONS
The northern section of the Youghiogheny River is increasingly recognized for its rich history and vastly improved fishing opportunities as it flows north for 46 miles from Connellsville to the Monongahela River at McKeesport, near Pittsburgh. The stream offers easy, flat-water paddling. The viewshed is mostly that of a natural river valley because the steep slopes limited where communities could build. Visible communities date from the heyday of America’s greatest wealth-building era: the Pittsburgh Coal Seam is the most valuable mineral resource in U.S. history. The river banks are littered with old coke ovens and coal-refuse or “gob” piles, as well as two National Historic Districts and other historic communities. Treatment of abandoned mine drainage and sewage has improved water quality and, with its sand and gravel bottom, the flat stream offers good fishing, especially where the water willow provides cover. Anglers seek bass, panfish, muskellunge, northern pike and walleye. The common presence of great blue heron and green herons and an occasional osprey are testament to the ample fish population.
YOUGHIOGHENY WATER TRAIL
The Youghiogheny River, known as the Yough or “Yawk,” is unusual in that it flows north for 132 miles, including 74 miles in Pennsylvania. It flows from Maryland and West Virginia to the Monongahela River at McKeesport, south of Pittsburgh. “Youghiogheny” means “stream flowing in a contrary direction” or “in a roundabout course,” likely referring to the “U” turn the river makes around Ferncliff Peninsula. The southern section of the Yough in Pennsylvania flows 39 miles – 11 miles in Youghiogheny River Lake, an Army Corps of Engineers floodcontrol dam — and 28 miles that flow free through Ohiopyle to South Connellsville, where a hazardous dam must be avoided. This section has historically been divided into the Middle Yough with Class I and II water that drops 11 feet per mile, and the Lower Yough, famous for Class III and IV whitewater with an average gradient of 25 feet per mile. The northern Yough remains largely undeveloped but loses its wildness as it continues 46 miles, falling a more modest 5.5 feet per mile from Connellsville to West Newton and a mere 1 foot per mile as it approaches the Monongahela, which flows to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. The entire water trail is rarely too low to navigate because of releases from Yough Dam.
PADDLING SAFETY TIPS •
Help care for the land, water and cultural resources along the Youghiogheny River by respecting wildlife, nature and other recreationists. It is important to wash footwear, boats and vehicles to minimize the spread of invasive species from one place to another. “Leave No Trace,” a national outdoor ethics program, provides some guidelines to minimize your impact. For more information, visit www.Lnt.org. Leave no trace for camping and day use: 1. Plan and prepare 5. Minimize campfires 2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces 6. Respect wildlife 3. Dispose of waste properly 7. Be considerate 4. Leave what you find of other visitors
RESPECT THE PRIVACY & RIGHTS OF LANDOWNERS Please respect the privacy and rights of landowners along this trail by obtaining permission before entering any privately owned land. Unless you are otherwise certain, assume the land is private property. In any case, avoid loud noises and boisterous behavior. Remember: sound carries across water more clearly than on land. Use the same courtesy you would want. A friendly wave or quiet greeting is always welcome.
One wearable, Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket) in serviceable condition and of the appropriate size is required for each person in your boat. If your boat is 16 feet or longer, one throwable device (seat cushion or ring buoy) is required. Canoes and kayaks, regardless of the length, are not required to carry a throwable device. Life jackets must be worn by all children 12 years and younger on all boats 20 feet or less in length while under way, and on all canoes and kayaks. Others are strongly encouraged to wear a life jacket at all times on the water. All boats must display an anchor light (a white light visible 360 degrees) when at anchor between sunset and sunrise. Boats can use a lantern or clip-on battery-powered unit to meet this requirement. All powered boats must show running lights between sunset and sunrise. Between sunset and sunrise, unpowered boats must carry a white light (visible 360 degrees), installed or portable, ready to be displayed in time to avoid a collision. All motorboats are required to carry a soundproducing mechanical device audible for a halfmile. Athletic whistles meet this requirement. All motorboats must be registered regardless of where they launch. Unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, rafts) using Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission access areas must either be registered OR display a valid launch permit. Launch permits can be purchased on the web at www.fish.state.pa.us. Operating watercraft, including canoes, kayaks and rafts, under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. The law is strongly enforced for user safety. For further information on boating regulations, contact the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission at www.fish.state. pa.us.
• • • • • • • • •
Wear your life jacket. Some 80 percent of all recreational boating fatalities happen to people who are not wearing a life jacket. Expect to get wet. Even the best paddlers sometimes capsize or swamp their boats. Bring extra clothing in a waterproof bag. Be prepared to swim. If the water looks too hazardous to swim in, don’t go paddling. If you capsize, hold on to your boat, unless it presents a lifethreatening situation. If floating in current, position yourself on the upstream side of the capsized boat. Scout ahead whenever possible. Know the river. Avoid surprises Be prepared for the weather. Get a forecast before you go. Sudden winds and rain are common and can turn a pleasant trip into a risky, unpleasant venture. Wear wading shoes or tennis shoes with wool, polypropylene, pile, or neoprene socks. Never take your boat over a low-head dam. Portage (carry) your boat around any section of water about which you feel uncertain. Never boat alone. Boating safety increases with numbers. Keep painter lines (ropes tied to the bow) and any other ropes coiled and secured. Never tie a rope to yourself or to another paddler, especially a child. Kneel to increase your stability before entering rougher water, like a rapid. If you collide with an obstruction, lean toward it. This will usually prevent your capsizing or flooding the boat. File a float plan with a reliable person indicating where you are going and when you will return. Remember to contact the person when you have returned safely.
Photo by Brad Clemenson
ALONG THE WAY-YOUGHIOGHENY RIVER NORTH remains of a plant that recycled Pittsburgh garbage. People used to Mile 46-0 Pittsburgh Coal Seam: Called “the most important search for old 19th century bottles that had washed into the river in a flood. mineral resource in the history of the world,” this seam fueled America’s Mile 19 West Newton: Pioneers who used wagons to get over Industrial Age in the late 1800s and well into the 1900s. It generated the Allegheny Mountains transferred supplies to canal boats here. The far more wealth than the California Gold Rush or Comstock silver boom. town was noted for manufacturing and now features an Environmental Coal outcrops and remnants of mining industry remain up and down the Education Center in the rebuilt train station. The borough has two corridor – including in the coal refuse or “gob” piles and the abandoned access ramps, and mine discharges that Boat Rentals-Liveries-Private Access the restaurant just degrade water quality. Mile (Some Charge for Public Access) above the bridge on Mile 46 South www.campriversedge.com/ River's Edge Camping and Cabins river-left is a popular Connellsville Dam is 40 Boat rentals, cabins, campground 724-628-4880 lunch stop but the extremely hazardous. no web site dirt path is not good Phil's Nite Club-Pizzaria Put in below the dam to 37 Food, steep steps to river 724-529-2011 for carrying boats to paddle this section. the river. www.hazelbakerscanoes.com/ Hazelbaker Recreational Services Mile 44 31 Mile 17 Boat rentals/livery 800-42-RIVER Connellsville: The city Sewickley Creek: www.youghcanoe.com/ grew as a transportation Youghiogheny Canoe Outfitters 18 Boat rentals/livery The largest tributary 877-79-YOUGH hub where Braddock’s to the northern Road crossed the native yspa.net/ Yough Sportspeople Association 8 Private / Surfaced Ramp / Gated Yough flows from See web for officers/contacts Americans’ Catawba Trail. It became a boatwww.tedspeddlersvillage.com/ Greensburg; its Peddler's Village 5 Boat rentals / Gravel quality has improved building center by the 412-452-3330 although mine mid-1700s and later drainage is still a problem. was the financial center of the Connellsville Coke District. The city has Mile 12 Buena Vista: The island was the site of Lock & Dam No. 2, four sites on the National Register of Historic Places and its downtown built in 1850 as part of the canal system to Pittsburgh. A bitter coal strike retains significant historic character. Yough River Park is a popular put-in took place here in 1876. A 1,061-foot tower beyond the town feeds the and trailhead with basic food and WiFi for internet. signal from WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. Elizabeth Township maintains an Mile 41 Broadford: The island has notable habitat and historically excellent access area with lots of parking. was the place to cross the river. Re-enactments of the famous crossing Mile 11 White Waterfall: Aluminum in this abandoned-mine by General Braddock are done two miles upstream. The massive discharge stains the rocks white. It is located along the trail and difficult structure on river-right was Old Overholt Distillery, dating to 1853, where to see through the trees from the river. industrialist Henry Mile 10 Dravo Cemetery: Mining started here in 1856. The small Clay Frick worked cemetery has graves of Civil War and War of 1812 veterans. The beach in his formative here is popular with locals. The primitive campground is free. youth. Mile 4 Boston: A fort was located here during the French and Mile 40 Indian War when the British fought to control the strategic Forks of the Adelaide: The Ohio, now Pittsburgh. Boats for the Lewis and Clark expedition were built Adelaide Coke near here. Works were named Mile 3 Dead Man’s Hollow Wildlife Preserve: A 400-acre site has for Frick’s wife and more than 2 miles of hiking trails owned by Allegheny Land Trust. once employed Mile 2-0 McKeesport: The confluence of the Youghiogheny and 230 men. The Pittsburgh coal seam was especially valuable because it Monongahela Rivers made this a strategic location for mining, steel has excellent “coking” properties. Coal is burned in the absence of air and other industry. By 1833, there were 10 mines nearby. U.S. Steel’s to produce almost pure carbon, used in making steel. In the late 19th National Works plant closed here in 1987. century, more than 40,000 beehive coke ovens operated in the region. The wooded hillsides above the trail just below Adelaide are among the best places to see remains of the ovens. The commercial campground here offers river access when it is open. Forested land along the Yough is home to a wide range of wildlife, Mile 38 Dawson: This National Historic District is somewhat unique including deer, bear, raccoon, pileated woodpecker, yellow warbler and in that miners and mine owners lived side by side. The town features several threatened or endangered species, including the eastern woodrat stunning Victorian-era residences and a beautiful old bank building and and timber rattlesnake. church. With the revived fishery, great Mile 34 Butterfly Rocks: A popular spot for a break along the river. blue herons are common along Mile 33 Round Bottom: The primitive campground here is the river, as are green herons accessible only by trail or river. and occasional osprey. Improved Mile 31 Layton: The road here from Perryopolis passes through a water quality also has enabled the one-lane tunnel and bridge originally built for a railroad. The old Layton return of soft shelled turtles, which Fire Clay Mine provides critical bat habitat. Hewitt and other Islands just eat fish, aquatic crustaceans, downstream have some of the most significant habitats in the river. The snails and amphibians. Waterfowl, canoe rental business also has camping. kingfishers and song birds are Mile 29 Whitsett: This in-tact coal patch town is a National common as well. Historic District featuring frame company-built row houses, which are Several threatened or still common throughout the Connellsville Coke District. Van Meter and endangered plants and a few Smithdale also are examples of coal patch towns built by companies to Photo by Dennis Tubbs animals of special concern live house workers. in the corridor, with islands near Mile 27.1 Banning Trestle at Connellsville and Layton and steep valleys of feeder streams among the 160 feet high is among the more notable areas for biological diversity. most dramatic of many railroad Sycamores are common, favoring wet soils along streams and structures along the river. It was pioneering disturbed lands such as old strip mines. Sycamores rise up built in 1930 by the Pittsburgh & to 100 feet tall and grow to a larger trunk diameter than any other native West Virginia Railroad. hardwood – the record was 15 feet in diameter. They are distinguished by Mile 27, 26, 20 Coal Refuse: the whitish, mottled bark that peels off to reveal patches of brown, green The Banning mines — No. 1 and gray. mine at Mile 27, No. 3 at Mile Water willow, a native plant with small purple flowers June through 26 and No. 4 at Mile 20 — are October, is a common in-stream vegetation that provides shelter for fish among the most obvious large and other aquatic life. coal-refuse piles along the river. The invasive, non-native Japanese knotweed dominates many river Commonly known as “Gob piles,” banks, especially below Smithton. Native of eastern Asia, knotweed they erode into the river and are forms dense stands that out-compete native vegetation and is nearly a major source of pollution. impossible to eradicate. Erosion results because knotweed’s shallow Mile 26.8 Jacobs Creek and Photo by Brad Clemenson roots do not hold riverbank soils like native species and it does not Darr Mine Disaster: One of the grow to the water’s edge. Breeding and other habitat for many species, Yough’s largest feeder streams has improved water quality thanks to mine especially fish, is lost as knotweed displaces native species that often reclamation, sewage treatment and improved farm practices, though arch over and shade the banks and shallow water. more remains to be done. The Darr mine disaster claimed 239 lives in two explosions on Dec. 19, 1907, one of the worst mining disasters in state history. Nearby, the Port Royal No. 2 mine disaster claimed 19 lives on June 10, 1901. Mile 25 Stoney’s Brewery: The big brick structure with The Great Allegheny Passage is a 132-mile hiking and biking trail smokestacks on river-right just above the Route 981 bridge is the old from McKeesport, PA, to Cumberland, MD, where it connects to the Stoney’s Brewery, which is closed (the beer is now brewed in Pittsburgh). C&O Canal Towpath for a 316-mile off-road route from near Pittsburgh Mile 23-21.5 Cedar Creek Park: Several geologic features in to Washington, DC. An international attraction, this near-level rail-trail this county park can be accessed by hikes of about a mile in each parallels the Yough River and other streams. Lodging and other services direction. These are Cedar Creek Falls, the Port Royal Tufa (limestone near the trail and river are listed at http://www.gaptrail.org/ or http:// dissolves, trickles down and solidifies, creating a continuously growing www.trailtowns.org/. formation) and the Liesegang Structures (iron concentrates like rust, Most of the Yough River corridor is located in Pennsylvania’s scenic forming cells that gave this a nickname of “the Indian Post Office”). The Laurel Highlands, where the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & park is operated by Westmoreland County and has camping and a food Natural Resources is supporting sustainable outdoor recreation, including concession. development of this water trail. Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau provides Mile 21 Reduction: The water outlet structure is the most obvious a wealth of information about the area at http://www.laurelhighlands.org/.
THROUGH THE CORRIDOR
WATER TRAIL LANDING
RIVER MILE FROM POINT & BANK
ALLEGHENY RIVER A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8
6th Street Clemente Three Rivers Rowing Lawrenceville Millvale Riverfront Park Sharpsburg Riverfront Park O’Hara Chapel Harbor Verona Oakmont
0.6 - Right 2.8 - Right 3.1 - Left 3.2 - Right 5.5 - Right 7.9 - Right 10.5 - Left 12.0 - Left
40 26 47 40 28 13 40 28 18 40 28 30 40 29 35 40 29 06 40 30 13 40 51 71
80 00 13 79 58 25 79 58 01 79 58 10 79 55 45 79 52 51 79 50 36 79 84 90
MONOGAHELA RIVER M1 M2
Station Square 4th Street
0.75 - Left 1.25 - Left
40 26 04 40 25 52
80 00 15 79 59 42
WATER TRAIL LANDING
RIVER MILE FROM POINT & BANK
M3 M4 M5 M6
South Side Riverfront Park 1 South Side Riverfront Park 2 Nine Mile Run Braddock at 11th Street
2.25 - Left 2.5 - Left 7.5 - Right 10 - Right
40 25 57 40 25 53 40 24 50 40 23 41
79 58 31 79 58 16 79 55 01 79 51 59
OHIO RIVER O1 Heinz Quay
.01 - Right
40 26 41
80 00 41
2.75 - Right 11.75 - Right
40 28 18 40 32 09
80 02 36 80 11 16
0.1 - Left
40 21 36
79 52 20
Westshall Street Sewickley
YOUGHIOGHENY RIVER Y1 McKeesport
RESPECT THE PRIVACY OF OTHERS
Three Rivers Water Trail TH
Map & Guide
Water trails are recreational waterways on lakes, rivers or oceans between specific points, containing access points and day-use and camping sites for the boating public. Water trails emphasize low-impact use and promote resource stewardship. Explore this unique Pennsylvania water trail.
For your safety and enjoyment: • Always wear a life jacket. • Obtain proper instruction in boating skills. • Know fishing and boating regulations. • Carry proper equipment.
URBAN ADVENTURE Canoeing and kayaking have long been popular ways to explore the waterways of the Allegheny Plateau Region. Although it has mostly been associated with rural and mountainous experiences, today, seeking adventure on the now cleaner urban waters is increasingly popular. The opportunities found in our own backyard can introduce all citizens to new experiences in fitness and recreational activities. Friends of the Riverfront is making it happen. Imagine paddling to the South Side for shopping or a lunch of international food, docking on the North Side for a show at the Warhol Museum or a baseball game, watching the blue herons swoop in search of food while you picnic on an island in the Allegheny River or listening to the distant traffic while you take an early morning paddle amidst the Golden Triangle’s skyline. PADDLING THE RIVERS With the creation of the Three Rivers Water Trail, residents and visitors can get a new perspective on our region from the rural countryside to downtown Pittsburgh. With the help of this guide, you can witness history in the making and embark on a river adventure that gives you a glimpse of our past, present and future. Take a moment to consider the following as you prepare for your journey. It’s important to know the waters on which you plan to boat, and users must know their own capabilities. The water levels are controlled through a series of locks and dams, but always be cognizant of your surroundings as well as other private and commercial boat traffic. Float speed on the Three Rivers is about 2-3 miles per hour with leisurely paddling. Remember that heavy rains and seasonal ice can significantly affect the flow conditions. For your safety and enjoyment, please boat only when water levels are appropriate for your skill level. The latest condition information can be found at www.erh.noaa.gov/ohrfc. ACCESSES AND AMENITIES ALONG THE WAY Allegheny River
A1 6th Street, Clemente. Spectacular urban access beneath the 6th Street (Clemente) Bridge, located adjacent to the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Also the home of Kayak Pittsburgh. A2 Three Rivers Rowing. Home turf to a world-class rowing facility, this site offers users access to the adjacent Heritage Trail and Millvale Riverfront Park just off of Route 28 and Grant Avenue. A3 Lawrenceville. Excellent access under the protection of the 40th Street Bridge. Ample land and water trailhead parking adjacent to the landing. A4 Millvale Riverfront Park. Great access can be found just off the sunken barge. Refreshments, bike rentals and fishing equipment available in the adjacent trailhead parking just off of Grant Avenue in the park. A5 Sharpsburg Riverfront Park. Prime example of small municipal planning with big impacts. Follow Main Street, turn onto 13th for parking, picnic facilities and restrooms. A6 O’Hara Chapel Harbor. Soft landing on the shores of the Allegheny River. A turf grass ramp allows access to Chapel Harbor residents and nearby marina. A7 Verona. Spacious docks of Steel City Rowing offer easy put-in and take-out. Follow the paddle sign from Allegheny River Boulevard to the Arch Street trailhead facility. A8 Oakmont Wash-ington Avenue. Adjacent to the bustling central business district, this site offers access for both motorized and non-motorized craft. Monongahela River
M1 Station Square. In the heart of the Golden Triangle, this access offers users their choice of entertainment, dining and unique shops. Stow your craft and take a ride on the Monongahela Incline for a bird’s eye view.
M2 4th Street. Former home of River Rescue, this landing has ample room for a put-in and take-out as well as nearby parking and access to the Community Bike Program just off of 4th Street in the South Side. M3 South Side Park 1. Serene setting in the middle of the city, this access is designated for both motorized and non-motorized craft. The South Side Riverfront Park, located at the end of 18th Street off East Carson, offers ample parking and access to nearby amenities and entertainment. M4 South Side Park 2. Small, protected cove allows for calmwater entry and exiting. Park facilities include restrooms, picnic tables and access to the Heritage Trail and the historic South Side. Stow your craft, and discover what the South Side has to offer. M5 Nine Mile Run. Rustic access at the mouth of Nine Mile Run. This access offers excellent fishing, trails and views of the Waterfront across the river from the spacious trailhead facility. M6 Braddock at 11th Street. Large access for both motorized and non-motorized craft. Parking is available along 11th Street. Ohio River O1 Heinz Quay. Beat the traffic and paddle to the game. Hang around and catch home runs at the ballpark. This popular access offers a wide array of amenities including food and entertainment. O2 Westhall Street. Trailhead parking is available off of River Avenue with access along the riverfront just across from Heritage Trail. O3 Sewickley. The Sewickley Riverfront Park offers easy access to the Ohio River and nearby shopping and dining. Youghiogheny River Y1 McKeesport. Located at the mouth of the Youghiogheny River, this is an excellent access for people wishing to explore the Steel Valley Trail, part of the Great Allegheny Passage, or take an easy walk to the nearby amenities of McKeesport.
GET INVOLVED We couldn’t have done it without you. Friends of the Riverfront is a 15-year-old membership-based organization charged with increasing awareness and engagement with the Pittsburgh Region’s rivers and riverfronts through activities, stewardship and expansion of water and land trails. To learn more about our organization and for membership information, please call us at 412.488.0212 or visit us online at www.friendsoftheriverfront.org. STEWARDSHIP Friends of the Riverfront works with over 1,000 dedicated volunteers just like you every summer to help care for our riverfronts. Please help care for the land, water and cultural resources along the Three Rivers Water Trail by respecting private property, wildlife and other enthusiasts. “Leave No Trace,” a national outdoor ethics program, provides guidelines to minimize your impact by following these simple concepts. For information on “Leave No Trace,” visit www.lnt.org. • Plan and be prepared. • Travel and camp on durable surfaces. • Dispose of waste properly. • Leave what you find. • Minimize campfires. • Respect wildlife. • Be considerate of others.
Plan and make stops at Three Rivers Water Trail’s designated landings and shorelines open to the public. Respect the privacy and rights of landowners by obtaining permission before entering privately owned land. FISHING OPPORTUNITIES The Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers near Pittsburgh offer a tremendous variety of quality fishing opportunities throughout the year. Remember, though, that fishing success varies by water conditions and year class strength of the various species. Late fall, winter and early spring (October to March) is a prime time to pursue walleye and sauger. These two species are more active when the water is colder. Concentrate your fishing within a mile of the downstream side of the dams and at the mouths of tributaries. This is also the time of the year for trophy-sized musky, particularly in the lower Allegheny River. April to June is a period to target smallmouth bass, white bass and freshwater drum when the water is cooler. There will also be opportunities to catch a 2- to 5-pound hybrid striped bass. The summer months and early fall bring the best action for channel catfish, flathead catfish, carp and smallmouth buffalo when the water is warm. Muskies and hybrid striped bass are stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission to provide the fishery. The fishery for all other species mentioned are maintained by natural reproduction in the rivers. PENNSYLVANIA BOATING REGULATIONS • One wearable, Coast Guard-approved life jacket (personal flotation device or PFD) in serviceable condition and of the appropriate size is required for each person in your boat. If your boat is 16 feet or longer, one throwable device (seat cushion or ring buoy) is required. Canoes and kayaks, regardless of length, are not required to carry a throwable device. • Life jackets must be worn by all children 12 years old and younger on all boats 20 feet or less in length while under way, and on all canoes and kayaks. Others are strongly encouraged to wear a life jacket at all times on the water. • All boats must display an anchor light (a white light visible at 360 degrees) when at anchor between sunset and sunrise. Boats can use a lantern or clip-on batterypowered unit to meet this requirement. • All powered boats must show running lights between sunset and sunrise. Between sunset and sunrise, unpowered boats must carry a white light (visible at 360 degrees), installed or portable, ready to be displayed in time to avoid a collision. • All motorboats are required to carry a sound-producing mechanical device audible for a half-mile. Athletic whistles meet this requirement. • All motorboats must be registered, regardless of where they launch. • Unpowered boats (canoes, kayaks, rowboats, rafts) using Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission access areas must either be registered OR display a valid launch permit. Launch permits can be purchased on the web at www.fishandboat.com. Click the “Outdoor Shop” icon. • Operating watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, and rafts, under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. The law is strongly enforced for user safety. For further information on boating regulations, contact the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission at www.fishandboat.com. PADDLING SAFETY TIPS • Wear your life jacket. Some 80% of all recreational boating fatalities happen to people who are not wearing a life jacket. • Expect to get wet. Even the best paddlers sometimes capsize or swamp their boats. Bring extra clothing in a waterproof bag. • Be prepared to swim. If the water looks too hazardous to swim in, don’t go paddling. • If you capsize, hold on to your boat, unless it presents a lifethreatening situation. If floating in current, position yourself on the upstream side of the capsized boat. • Scout ahead whenever possible. Know the river. Avoid surprises. • Be prepared for the weather. Get a forecast before you go. Sudden winds and rain are common and can turn a pleasant trip into a risky, unpleasant venture. • Wear wading shoes or tennis shoes with wool, polypropylene, pile or neoprene socks. • Never take your boat over a low-head dam. • Portage (carry) your boat around any section of water about which you feel uncertain. • Never boat alone. Boating safety increases with numbers. • Keep painter lines (ropes tied to the bow) and any other ropes coiled and secured. • Never tie a rope to yourself or to another paddler, especially a child. • Kneel to increase stability before entering rougher water, like a rapid. • If you collide with an obstruction, lean toward it. This will usually prevent capsizing or flooding the boat. • File a float plan with a reliable person, indicating where you are going and when you will return. Remember to contact the person when you have returned safely.
• After being let up or down, wait for the lock master to give you an OK before proceeding. Leave at a slow and consistent speed staying close yet visible beside the storm wall. Do not stop until you are well away from the pull of the dam’s current and other boat traffic. Three Rivers Water Trail Access Landings Each Three Rivers Water Trail landing contains directional red paddle signs that orient paddlers from both land and water. Amenities such as ramps, interpretive signs and canoe and kayak racks are also a part of each location. Remember to stow your craft properly before setting out on foot to explore nearby historic sites, parks, restaurants and cultural attractions.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Emergency Contacts All areas dial 911 Pittsburgh River Rescue 412.323.7260 U.S. Coast Guard 412.644.5808 Three Rivers Water Trail Manager Friends of the Riverfront 33 Terminal Way Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412.488.0212 www.friendsoftheriverfront.org Tourist Promotion Agencies Visit Pittsburgh 412.281.7711 www.visitpittsburgh.com River Gauge & River Flow Resources National Weather Service-river forecasts 412.262.5290 www.weather.gov National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration www.erh.noaa.gov/ohrfc/ Locks and Dams U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 412.395.7500 www.lrp.usace.army.mil
Allegheny River Highland Park Lock and Dam #2 Phone 412.661.2217 6.2 miles from the Point Ohio River Emsworth Locks and Dam Phone 412.766.6213 6.2 miles from the Point Outfitters & Canoe Liveries Kayak Pittsburgh 412.969.9090 www.kayakpittsburgh.com REI 412.488.9410 www.rei.com Exkursion Outfitters 412.821.0206 www.exkursion.com Three Rivers Rowing 412.231.8772 www.threeriversrowing.org Steel City Rowing 412.828.5565 www.steelcityrowing.org Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission www.fishandboat.com
Monongahela River Braddock Lock and Dam #2 Phone 412.271.1272 11.2 miles from the Point
LOCKING THROUGH • On the downriver approach, dams are difficult to see. Stay alert and keep track of your location (be visible and cognizant of others). Cross over to the correct side of the river that the lock is located on well before you arrive and hug the shoreline. Keep an eye out for the “DANGER DAM” signs and the white and orange pillar buoys (they may be taken out of the river depending on time of year and river flow). • Let the lock master know you are there by ringing the bell located at the end of the storm wall, calling them on the phone or VHF radio channel 13 or by sounding one long blast from a boat whistle followed by one short blast. • Approach the lock aware of the following signals: Red means stand clear and do not enter. Yellow means approach the lock under full control. Green means proceed to enter the lock directly. The lock master may also signal via air horn: One long blast means enter the landward lock. Two long blasts mean enter the riverward lock. One short blast means leave the landward lock. Two short blasts mean leave the riverward lock. • Carry aboard at least 75 feet of mooring line to secure your small craft safely to the lock wall. The lock master reserves the right to deny permission to pass through because of inadequate line. To proceed, give one end of the line to the lock master. He or she will place it around the mooring hook above. Feed the rope through your hand going up or down with the water level while holding the other end securely.
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