Northeast Packraft or Bikeraft Trip Ideas

Let’s get brainstorming! After an incredibly fun Northeast Roundup weekend, I’d love to keep up the momentum and get a trip on the calendar. ~Brie

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Thanks for getting this started, Brie! I’m mostly aiming for lots of weekend trips around Philly the remainder of this year. Curious what others have planned.

For day hiking/packrafting loops, two of my favorites in the area are the Mullica River Loop in the NJ Pine Barrens and the Delaware Water Gap Loop. I’ll be doing these in the fall if folks are interested!

Jeff Quirk

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I was looking at Delaware Water Gap myself! A fall trip sounds great.

I’ve got some ideas brewing up my way (New Hampshire for anyone checking this post out… Jeff, it’ll be damn near impossible for you to forget where I live, haha)-- loads of flatwater options but the hiking portion doesn’t look great unless road walking really rings your bell. Probably more suited for bikerafting to get those bonus niche points in a niche sport.

The Class II section on the Androscoggin River out of Errol, NH looks fun as hell (and is dam released for easier planning) and the float could be extended through the quickwater section from the Bofinger Conservation to Berlin, NH. The hiking would be rugged going northbound on the Cohos Trail (your fave, Jeff!)

I’ll keep route hunting my way-- Massachusetts might have something up it’s sleeves and Vermont could have some hidden gems.

Yay boating!

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Hi all,

I’ve put together maps of some of the routes I’ve been looking at around the WV/VA/MD area, and figured this would be a good thread to share them all - although only one is technically in the Northeast. I also plan to keep playing around to look for other route ideas.

Jeff, if the timing works for me I’d definitely be interested so feel free to reach out once you have dates in mind!

Big Gunpowder Falls Day Trip - In MD, this is the closest one to all of you NE folks and has potential to be a fun packrafting day trip. 8 miles of paddling (class I-III), then 8 miles of hiking back to the put in on trail that follows the river. I need to do a bit more research on figuring out exactly when this has ran historically since you need to extrapolate from other gauges, but it seems the American Whitewater page has a derived current flow.

Hopeville Canyon Loop - This one is in WV passing through Seneca Rocks, 17 miles of trail with some great views for the East and a 17 mile stretch of river up to Class II-III. Water dependent, but runs more frequently than some rivers.

Balcony Falls (Short) - In VA, on the Balcony Falls section of the upper James river (II+) you can make a nice day trip or more relaxed overnight with 10 miles of hiking and a 6.5 mile paddle. You can extend this by hiking on the AT a lot more Balcony Falls (Long) making it 30 miles of trail and 20 river miles, adding more of the James (I-II) with the potential to replace some of the trail with a few miles of a creek. There is enough water for this run almost all of the time.

Shavers Fork Loop In WV, this combines an up to class III section of the Shavers Fork of the Cheat with the Allegheny trail for a nice loop with 22 miles of river and ~17 miles of trail. This area is pretty neat because the Greenbrier and a tributary run in the opposite direction of the Shavers Fork on the other side of a ridge, with the potential for a huge loop of almost only paddling on rivers, but it seems very unlikely for the rivers to be high enough long enough to make that happen. This shorter loop is still water dependent, but more feasible.


Wait, I thought you were from New Jersey, Brie! :joy:

Love all the route ideas. I’ve had my eye on Gunpowder Falls for some time, so that would be an awesome one. My weekends are pretty much full through September but keep me in the loop on all these ideas, and I’ll be in touch regarding a fall trip to DWG and/or the Mullica!


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I was looking at the James river section today that you mentioned. Wondering about quality of rapids with current water levels. Has anybody run it? Be interesting to do a 2 day paddle with overnight camp.


By George I think this forum’s got traction!

–Mullica and DWG are two places I have never paddled in any way, shape, or form. For several years running I’ve made and broken promises to myself to get there. A fall trip to DWG does sound great, and in addition maybe just maybe I can get up there once by Labor Day Weekend to try out that River Runner shuttle bus. Anybody up for that?

Very intrigued by Big Gunpowder Falls and it’s just about as close to Philadelphia as Jim Thorpe! That Middle River area is a real nexus of fun. Middle River and Frog Mortar Creek are favorites of mine for the paddleboard.

The Perkiomen is just over 300 cfs at Graterford today, August 11. If I weren’t working I would want to go before it settles down below 150 again. Hoping for a nice level for the October 14 Perkiomen Sojourn It’ll be my first time doing that. Apparently at the 2019 event the creek was at 700-800 cfs and offered a few thrills. A little early for foliage, but still expecting rich scenery.



@Mfoster I’ve done two trips on that section of the James, covering Buchanan through Balcony Falls. I wish I remembered the dates so I had specific info on water levels, but it was definitely on the lower side. It’s a pretty area but at low-runnable levels per AW, everything besides Balcony Falls is basically flat water with an occasional scrapey ledge. Balcony Falls is rated CL III but felt like CL II through the standard line. Obviously higher water can change things dramatically. Both of my trips were in winter so I can’t speak to how much commercial or recreational activity it gets as we saw basically nobody else on the river.

Eric did a trip that incorporated the Maury River, and Logan’s idea to use Jennings Creek would make it a much more interesting trip imo.


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Thanks for the info! I have heard good things about the Maury, maybe I’ll put that on my list instead.

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Anybody have any fall trips planned? Looking to possibly get in at least one more river trip (CI-II) somewhere before it gets too cold.

Those sections of the James are pretty tame (and beautiful), Balcony falls is class II, maybe III by some standards. However, Jennings creek is very small, and if it has enough water in it to float any boat, then the James is going to be flooded. If you’re doing this loop, I would just assume you are hiking all the way to the James.

If you get spicy high water on the James, a better option would be to hike into the top of the adjacent North Creek. It runs more frequently for some reason, but expect super tight class III+ IV type rapids with a healthy mix of trees and shrubs in there.


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Shavers Fork Loop- This is a cool idea! Glancing at the maps, it looks like it hikes out at the High Falls overlook trail? I’m not sure if you’ve done that section before, but that section of river is a bit tougher than class III. It’s one of the more remote wilderness runs in WV. Most of the biggest rapids are below High Falls, but there’s plenty in there above the falls.

The idea of paddling the Shavers Fork, then back down the Greenbriar is an awesome idea. It would take some special timing (and probably winter weather) but I bet you could start and finish at Cass, WV, hiking over the mountain into Snowshoe, putting on there, paddle to high falls, then carry over to the WF Greenbriar, and paddle all the way back to Cass. I’m going to keep thinking about this one!

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Yep, it have that map as taking the trail over just above High Falls. I have not paddled any of the Shavers Fork before, but since then someone shared a video of the run with me and I definitely saw what you’re saying about the difficulty even above High Falls.

I have looked into that full loop you’re describing before, there are some fire roads that work nicely so that you can get to the headwaters near Snowshow with only a short roadwalk along WV-66 to get there from Cass. It would be interesting to pull the historical gage data to see how frequently there has been enough water to do the full loop (although I’m also unsure exactly how many days it would require, I’m guessing the flows make the river miles pretty quick when they’re up even though it is long). If possible, it would definitely be a very cool trip.