TohickonVirtual tour of Tohickon Creek.  OverviewOverview Map of the Northeast
Street AtlasStreet Atlas of Tohickon Creek
Whats New: Photos of the 2003 Tohickon release on Sunday by Chris - ShotbyChris

River Levels

Telephone level gauges: You can call the Pt. Pleasant Post Office and ask them to look out the window, but be nice. Or, you can call Bucks County River Country (215) 297-8823, located near the take-out of the Tohickon.

On-line level gauges :

  • Tohickon Creek at Pipersville. (about 2 miles above put-in at Stover Park)
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  • 200 cfs (2.2') is about 1/2 foot on the park gage, and is about minimum flow.
  • 550 cfs is about 1 1/2 foot on the park gauge
  • 700 cfs (3.1') is about 1 3/4 foot on the park gauge (normal dam release)
  • 1800 cfs is about 3 1/4 foor on the park gauge
  • Click for a chart of some past releases.
  • A normal release from Lake Nockamixon is 1 1/2 - 2 foot on the Stover Park bridge gauge or the Pt. Pleasant bridge gauge. The river can be run down below 0 on the gauge if you don't mind scraping down the ledges. The highest I've run it is 5', which was a real fast run with big holes. At this level always stay right except for left at Fish or Swim and Pyramid Rock.

    Scheduled releases are somewhere around the last weekend in March and the first weekend in November. Its runnable in the summer during or a day or 2 after after a heavy rain.

    Location

    The Tohickon is located near the Delaware 1/2 hour north of New Hope, PA.  The put-in can be reached from Route 611 to Stump Road, and the take-out is on Route 32 in Point Pleasant, PA.  The first rapid can be viewed by crossing the pedestrian bridge at Ralph Stover Park and following a trail along river left.  The local landowner usually barricades the river shore at that point.  The first ledge rapid down to the start of the race course, along with access to the high rocks climbing area can be viewed at Tohickon Valley Park.

    River Description

    The section from Lake Nockamixon to Ralph Stover State Park is a easy class II through farm country.

    The whitewater section starts at Stover and runs down to the Delaware at Pt. Pleasant, PA. It is about 3 miles of medium to hard class III. A lot of surfing waves, holes and ledges makes it very popular and very crowded during release weekends.  The dam at the put-in was removed in the fall of 2007, so the put-in at the 'upper' parking lot is easier now, as well as the put-in at the pedestrian bridge.

    After a few hundred yards of warmup, the river starts off with a bang at Fish or Swim. A large sticky surfing hole on river right, with a surfing wave in the center right next to it. There is a small eddy on the right, and a large one on the left. Just below on the left is a small friendly side surfing hole.

    Down past the rock climbers at High Rocks is Corner Hole (a.k.a. Diagonal Ledge). A surfing hole on the left, with an eddy below and above. The left side of the hole is a little sticky and pour-over-ish, but its easy to get out the right side (and then some power stroking to get back into the eddy).  There is a nice surfing wave below and to the right of the hole

    After some small ledges is the Chute (a.k.a. Chainsaw or Flume). There are boofing rocks with a micro eddys behind them on the right or left, with a big eddy below the chute on the left. Nice surfing waves in the center. 100 yards below is a small ledge with an eddy to its right, with a squirtable eddy line.

    Some more small ledges and waves leads to the first ledge, No Name Ledge. This is a small single drop which can be run down the center, or thru a slot on the right. The right side slot can give rocky popups to short boats.  A side surfing hole is about 100 yards below.

    The fun starts with the next rapid, First Ledge. This can be run center-right over some pillows down thru a surfable wave/hole. Alternatively you can eddy out left after the first little drop, and then ferry right (with a couple of stops to surf waves) and down to the wave/hole. Or you can run more of a sneak route to the far right down the first part of the drop and the move quickly left towads a rooster tail hole.  Then pick a number and get in line to surf the hole. Great backenders for boats with low volume back decks.

    A quick pool to catch your breath, and you come up to Second Ledge. This is a two part drop (this ledge and the one above is is also called Triple Drop). The first river wide ledge can be run to the center right, and then down to the right of the washed over rock at the bottom. Or you can run a chute on the center left of the first drop, eddy out in the pool, and either then ferry over far right or thread the needle to the left and then behind  the washover rock (a raft snagging rock is ready for you if you don't cut behind the washover rock).

    Another pool brings you to the start of the area used for slalom races back in the old days - the Race Course. You can enter on the left, and stay middle left down past rocks and ledges to the end of a small island, at which point you want to be far left. Or, you can catch a slot to the right of a washed over rock in the center at the top of the rapid, and then down to a surfable hole on the right. Head left after the hole to the end of the island, and then down thru a nice wave train in a fairly narrow section. Eddy out at the bottom.

    The last big drop is Hat's Rock (a.k.a. Ricki's Rapid). Scout it from the left shore to be sure to catch all the good spots on the way down. You can enter it on the right past a line of irritating small rocks, then down through waves and a couple holes on the right side. Keep the big rock to your left at the bottom.For the more adventurous, you can enter it at a small chute left of center of the first ledge on the left side with some left to right momentum. Spin your boat and drop into the hole facing the left side. Back out of the hole and ferry over right to drop into two holes in the center of the drop. If you come out of the left side of the first hole, you are in for an interesting ride through some slots down the left side of the Hat's Rock (especially if you are in a low volume boat).  Or you can hit the far left side of the first ledge and spin into the eddy on the left shore.  The ferry over to the right, punch the holes, maintaining your right side momentum to reach the right side of  Hat's Rock.

    Below this drop is a rather sticky hole along the right shore, and then the last gasp of the Tohickon, Pyramid Rock. Aim just a shade to the left of this rock which is just off the right shore, brace off some steep pillows, and shoot past the rock. Or, eddy out on the right shore just above the rock, and ferry over into the pillows above the rock. For the less adventurous, it can be completely snuck by staying left. The site of my first (and unfortunately not the last) swim on the Tohickon back in the dark ages of prehistory.

    Coast on into Point Pleasant, enjoying the scenery, and take out at the small park (if you have a shuttle bunny), or at Bucks County River Country (and pay some $  which goes to the local fire department), or continue on to the Delaware and head downstream to Bulls Island State Park take-out on the Jersey side.  Its about a mile and a half down the Delaware just below the Lumberton wing dam.  Don't block the roads when loading or unloading to keep the locals happy.

    The local Boy Scouts sell some great hot food at the Ralph Stover put-in on fall release weekends.  Or cruise into Point Pleasant and hang out at Applejacks.


     
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    Trip Reports 

    This information is my opinion onlyand may not reflect actual conditions. It is based on my usually hazy memory, and should not be used to decide whether you or your guides are qualified to run the river. 
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