Kayaking in Ohiopyle
Kayaking in Ohiopyle is one of the most popular activities in Ohiopyle State Park. Whenever the weather cooperates, you can help hundreds of kayakers playing in the currents of the Lower Yough and Middle Yough. With its ample white water and easy access, Ohiopyle State Park is one of the most popular kayak destinations on the east coast.
Kayaking the Lower Yough
Kayaking the Lower Yough is the most popular kayaking option in the park. Due to its easy access and ample play spots, the Lower Yough is boated by tens of thousands of kayakers every year. The Lower Yough is a class III and IV river with plenty of play spots. The put-in for the Lower Yough is located right in Ohiopyle.
Lower Yough Kayaking Regulations
Make sure that you check in with the State Park before putting on the water. On weekends during the summer, and all holidays, you will need a launch permit to run the river. If you plan on going the whole way to Bruner Run, you are also required to purchase a shuttle token.
Kayaking the Middle Yough
The Middle Yough, from Confluence to Ohiopyle State Park, is a great place for beginner kayakers to practice their skills before graduating up to the Lower Yough. Its class I and II rapids are easy enough for even first-time kayakers.
The Middle Yough starts in Confluence and works its way down 11 miles of river to Ohiopyle State Park. You will need two vehicles to run the Middle Yough. A vehicle to drop everyone off in Confluence along with a vehicle in Ohiopyle is needed. Sometimes you can talk with a local rafting company about supplying you with a shuttle to the Middle Yough Put-in. This would allow you to only need one vehicle.
Kayaking Meadow Run
Kayaking Meadow Run is a run in Ohiopyle that should be left to experienced kayakers only. It can only be run during or after heavy rain fall. It is quick to drop down to an unrunnable level. Once the water starts running high, Meadow Run is tranformed from a fairly calm stream to a raging class IV and V run.
You can put in Meadow Run in various locations. Many people use the rafting outfitter parking lot. Meadow Run eventually dumps into the Lower Yough right above Entrance Rapid. Before you get to the Lower Yough, meadow Run passes through an area called the Slides. At high water, the Slides become a very dangerous class V run. For the majority of kayakers, it is highly advisable to portage the slides. If you do plan on running the slides, you may scout the slides from the river left slide. You may also enlist the help of local guides who run the slides all the time. Regardless, it is not recommended to just drop into the slides without scouting them.