Rafting the Youghiogheny River, Pennysylvania
Youghiogheny (pronounced yah-kuh-gain-ee) River in Pennsylvania offers the most exciting whitewater opportunities in the East Coast. The river, divided into three main sections, give the young and experienced alike an opportunity to cook up some real whitewater action. The Lower Yough (pronounced yok) section commences after the Ohiopyle Falls and flows out to the Bruner Run Take-Out after a twelve km long trail along the Laurel Mountains. The Class III rapids in a consistent water flow can be a good option for families and beginners. But the river contains a torrent in some sections for the presence of underwater rock layers. Rapids like Cucumber, Railroad, Dimple Swimmers, Entrance, Rivers End and Double Hydraulics vary between Class III-IV. The Class IV rapids are meant for the experienced only.The Middle Yough lies between the Ramcat Put-in near Confluence and the town of Ohiopyle. The rapids range from Class I-II and the section can be explored even by kids. The mild flow of the river ensures a great drift along scenic sights. Wildlife viewing and fishing are popular activities among floaters. Kayakers and canoers also throng the site and stimulating rapids in controlled water flow make this the ideal spot for families with small kids.
To navigate through Upper Yough, courage is needed more than experience. The stream plummets down from the mountains of Western Maryland and provides sharp, biting rapids throughout the journey. The first two miles of the river soothes the rafters deceptively in a calm flow. Warm up folks, for the next 10 miles will be a downswing of 1000 miles! Gap Falls begins the fun and a series of Class IV ledges double it up till The Bastard Falls. Four Class V rapids await the brave hearts amidst myriad chutes and ledges squeezed into narrow trails. The forcible tour comes to a halt near the National Falls. Another round of unadulterated Class V action begins with Heintzerling Falls and continues through Meat Cleaver, Powerful Popper, Lost & Found and Rockies I.
The stream slows down to tranquil pools near the take out at Friendsville. Its time to relax, floating through the calm waters in retrospection of what adventure you just passed through.