Floating the River
The large size of the Allegheny River and the constant release of water
from Kinzua Dam make the river canoeable all year long. The river can
accommodate small, shallow-draft, powered, and non-powered craft.
The Allegheny is excellent for novice and family canoeing and kayaking.
With leisurely paddling, a canoe or kayak can travel about 2 to 3 miles
Be sure to boat only at water levels appropriate for your capabilities,
and never when the river is high or flooded. Trail use is not
recommended when river flow levels at Kinzua Dam are more than
5,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) for canoes and kayaks, and more than
8,000 CFS for power boats, or when water temperatures are below
55 degrees. Contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Kinzua Dam
There are a number of liveries along the river and they can also provide
helpful information on current river conditions. All access points are
indicated on the map. Some of these access points are “primitive,”
indicating they are more suitable for canoes and cartop boats.
Camping is permitted on any National Forest lands (island or shoreline),
designated Cranberry Township lands, Venango County islands, at
Dotter on land owned by the Allegheny Valley Conservancy, and at the
Kennerdell Tract of Clear Creek State Forest. Camping is not permitted
on state game lands. Suitable sites might be limited at times because of
wet areas or very dense vegetation.
Public lands available for camping are indicated on the map. Islands
colored purple are part of the Allegheny Islands Wilderness, where the
use of motorized or mechanized equipment is prohibited. When locating National Forest lands from the water, look for occasional U.S. Forest Service boundary signs on trees around the perimeter.