Stonycreek River, PA 4/23/2023
Since our intended destination, the Cheat Canyon, was too low, three kayakers, Tom H, Jim, and Christian, made the drive out to the Stonycreek instead for the scheduled dam release (744 cfs/3.5ft). Despite the cold day, with a high of only around 50 degrees and cloudy, we had a great time. The highlight of the Stonycreek is the series of high quality surf waves and holes in the rapids called "surf lab," "railroad" and "scout." We took our time, surfing most of the roughly 80 good waves of all shapes and sizes, catching eddys, and practicing boofs. We saw many other paddlers we know from the DC area. This river gets no more difficult than class III+, but all the surfing, including a few intimidating large holes, left us quite tired, and happy. No swims. With the modest difficulty, lack of major hazards, and optional great surfing opportunities, this river is a good fit for a wide variety of paddlers.