DATE: 08/24/2019
TIME: 10:00am-3:00pm (prompt start, estimated end)

DESCRIPTION: (Wear appropriate clothing & bring water!  Below are some special instructions: what to bring, relative difficulties, interesting features, and carpooling directions.)

This beautiful section of the Lehigh has been labeled the family fun ride and has 3 main features:

Starting at Jim Thorpe to Lehighton, there is a rapid just around the bend, named Bear Trap, (start in the middle and run to the right, avoiding the rocks along river right at the bottom). The rest of the river is wide with nice wave trains and riffles.

Starting/continuing at Lehighton (Dunbars) to Bowmanstown, the first rapid is a wave train under the bridge. The remainder of this section is pretty much riffles with flatwater and some small wave trains.

The last rapid (before Bowmanstown take out) is Carnage or Graduation Rapid (start left and follow the main flow to the right avoiding the large rocks in the middle of the channel about 1/3 of the way down).

This is a dam release weekend, so there should be plenty of water.  The trip will be cancelled if water levels become too high for safety.

Who can join this trip: 

  • Intermediate level recreational paddlers with good moving water experience.¬†¬†There are some easy Class II rapids on this stretch.
  • New Graduates from the whitewater training are also welcome!

Skills required:  Have good boat control to maneuver in Class II water.  Paddlers should be comfortable with wet exit.

Equipment requirements:  Helmets and Spray skirts (recreational boats need nylon or neoprene spray skirts that cover the whole cockpit).  Boats that do not have both bow and stern bulkheads MUST have flotation bags.  Please ask if you are not sure!

Length of boats:  Boats should not be too long (<12 feet recreational OR whitewater kayaks).  Ask if not sure.

Footwear:  Proper water shoes are needed. Shoes should cover the entire foot and be firmly attached in case of a swim.

**Also looking for some experienced paddlers that are willing to run safety.**

The number of boaters may be limited depending on how much safety we can garner, so let us know as soon as possible if you are interested.

Contact: Christina Older

Email: christina_older at hotmail dot com

Meeting place/Put in:

Jim Thorpe parking lot.  Municipal parking lot near train station in center of town. There is easy access to the launch area. Cost is $10.00 to park.  When you first come in let them know you are dropping off (and so will not have to pay for parking) unless you plan to leave your vehicle there.  After the shuttle is complete, those going back to Jim Thorpe will need to pay for parking.


Lehigh River – Jim Thorpe to Bowmanstown

1 Lehigh Ave
Jim Thorpe,  PA 18229

40.863766, -75.736932

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General Information:
Whitewater: This section of the Lehigh is known as the ‚Äúfamily float‚ÄĚ section and offers some great practice spots for practicing ferrying, eddy turns and river reading. The scenery is more urban than the upper sections of the Lehigh but still mostly delightful. You can break the trip up by putting in or taking out at an access known as ‚ÄúDunbars‚ÄĚ, or use this wide stretch of rocky shoreline for lunch.

Difficulty & Must Haves:
Class: I-II. Section Length: 7 miles Time: 6 hours. Required Equipment: Boat suitable for whitewater, paddle, skirt, helmet, PFD, whistle, water, dry bag. Recreational boats with skirts can run this section of river. Required Skills: Paddlers must have good boat control, be able to catch and exit eddies in moving water, ferry and wet-exit safely.

Nice to Have &  Human Interest:
Lunch and snacks, extra water, sunscreen, glasses holder, throw-rope.

Additional Notes & Shuttle Info:
40¬į47’32.1″N 75¬į39’26.1″W https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zjduWflhNnK4.kxGWo1jxOtJQ
Paddlers should meet at Jim Thorpe; tell the attendant that you are ‚Äúdropping off‚ÄĚ to avoid the daily parking fee. Parking is free at Bowmanstown. Shuttle cars returned to Jim Thorpe will have to pay the daily parking fee ‚Äď be kind and pool your money so your shuttle driver doesn‚Äôt have to pay. Dunbars Option: Down a bumpy, pothole ridden dirt path past the ‚ÄúDunbars Bottling Company‚ÄĚ in Lehighton is a wide rocky beach that will eat your car‚Äôs suspension. Enter at your own risk. You can drop off or pick up here, but please don‚Äôt park here for the day. All cars left in the vicinity should be parked back out on the main road in the back of the Dollar Store lot and paddlers will have to hoof it back to the river. Additional Notes: There are no facilities at Dunbars except the shrubbery. The railroad station at Jim Thorpe offers flush toilets and running water during regular business hours. I think there are porta-potties at Bowmanstown?


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