Our newest location, opened August 2015, and our first out-of-town dock! This is our "adventure" dock, located on the Susquehanna River, offering our members a paddling environment unlike any of our other locations.
Start by heading north to Brad Nelson's Starrk Moon Kayaks shop at 497 Cold Cabin Road, Delta, PA. As you head down Cold Cabin, you'll swear there can't possibly be a kayak store on this narrow, wooded road—until you see the big shop/house on the left, with all the kayaks outside. Park across the street, and get your paddle and PFD from inside the Pyranha Kayaks trailer in the parking area—just open the side door. (We don't have a typical CKC equipment box on site yet—we'll let you know when we get one.) While you're there, stop in and say hello to Brad! From there, proceed to the park at the bottom of the hill—that's where the kayaks are. Our rack is actually a kayak trailer. Grab a kayak, and launch from the boat ramp or the shore. If you arrive and find all of the kayaks in use (we don't expect that to happen), see Brad at the shop—he'll lend you one.
This stretch of the river is actually the northern end of the reservoir formed by the Conowingo Dam. After launching, you can follow the shoreline upriver (to the left) for about a mile, and you'll reach the mouth of Muddy Creek. Paddle up the creek about ¾ of a mile, until it's too shallow to go further. Hop out of your kayak, pull it through the ripples, then park it on the beach to your left. Walk upstream a couple minutes and you can enjoy a cascading waterfall, and you can swim in a deep pool in the creek. (Can't do THAT in Baltimore!)
Or you can head about a mile up the middle of the river to a two-mile stretch of rocky islands. You may think you're somewhere in Alaska! You can explore the countless channels among the islands, and perhaps even find a place to land on some of them. (Some have cabins on them—keep your distance, please!) As you paddle further upriver among the islands, you can experience some moving water—something we don't see here in Baltimore.
Since you'll be driving an hour each way, you may want to plan other activities in the area. Just upriver from the islands is the new whitewater kayak park at Holtwood Dam. Stop by and and watch a different type of kayaking. You'll also be just a half hour drive from the Amish country of Lancaster County. If you want to stop to eat in Delta, there's the Peach Bottom Inn just a few minutes from the river, as well as three different pizza places. You can come home via historic Havre de Grace, Maryland, where the Susquehanna River meets the Chesapeake Bay; there are several places to eat, as well as museums and a number of antiques shops.
A few important notes:
The river in this area is much like a lake, but if there has been a lot of rain, there can be some current. Check the river gauge at Harrisburg. Scroll down to “Gage height, feet.” If the water level is less than 6 feet, paddling should be easy; between 6 and 8 feet, there will be some current, making it a bit harder to paddle upriver; and if it's 8 feet or more, the current can be strong, and we suggest you avoid paddling here. There is a boat ramp on the left side of the river, near the islands; DO NOT land there, as it is managed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and a permit is required. And, as always, check the weather forecast before you go!