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DCNR Plans Whitewater Release into Tohickon Creek for Annual Boating Event in Bucks County

by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

Feb 29, 2024

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) will release water from Lake Nockamixon into Tohickon Creek Saturday and Sunday, March 16-17, providing opportunities for whitewater boating enthusiasts to converge on Tohickon Creek in Bucks County.

Releases are historically scheduled on a semi-annual basis, usually occurring on the third weekend in March and the first weekend in November. The whitewater releases from the Nockamixon State Park dam provide suitable whitewater boating conditions downstream through Ralph Stover State Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

The water releases are set to begin at 4 a.m. Several hours later, the release consisting of millions of gallons of water moving down the waterway will create whitewater conditions at Ralph Stover State Park. Suggested hours for viewing the release and boating activity are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Ralph Stover.

Water releases are eagerly awaited by whitewater paddling enthusiasts, drawing skilled kayakers, canoeists, and occasional rafters from throughout the Northeastern United States. Most launch their craft at Ralph Stover State Park, near Pipersville, Bucks County, and travel some four miles along the Tohickon Creek to its junction with the Delaware River at Point Pleasant.

DCNR officials remind boaters that this is technical whitewater with Class 3 and 4 rapids that require experienced boating skills. Boaters should be aware of and abide by the safety code of the American Whitewater Affiliation. Boaters must wear appropriate personal flotation devices, take appropriate precautions to prevent hypothermia, and use only craft designed for this type of water.

Trail users, especially on the High Rocks Vista Trail System, are encouraged to do the following as high traffic is expected during the whitewater release days:

  • Stay on blazed trails; this helps to slow erosion and minimize the human impact on the native flora and fauna.
  • Be mindful of other trail users, and please stay to the right of the trail when passing others.
  • If recreating with a large group, consider splitting into smaller groups to reduce the concentration of foot traffic.
  • Dogs are required stay on a six-foot leash, and owners must clean up after their pets.

For more information, contact Nockamixon State Park at 215-529-7300 or Delaware Canal State Park at 610-982-5560.

For more information about Pennsylvania’s 124 state parks visit DCNR’s website and check out DCNR’s Calendar of Events for events on public lands.

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