♦︎♦︎ Flat Rock “Whitewater Mile”

EXTRA CAUTION. Class I to Class II+ rapids. 40.039207, -75.247010 to 40.027643, -75.231261

The turbulent outflow of the Flat Rock Dam and the natural geological fall line below the dam create swift water, ledges and boulders, a series of Class I to Class II+ rapids, holes, and strong eddies. This stretch of active water is used for practice, play, and training by members of the Philadelphia Canoe Club and whitewater enthusiasts from all over.

Always use caution and scout ahead when approaching problem areas. Water levels and paddler skill may dictate/allow a different course of action through this area, but the best route under normal conditions is to:

Start in the quieter water at the portage put-in (40.039145, -75.247588). To avoid the turbulent, powerful outflow and “rock garden” below the dam, stay RR to enter the channel to the right of the small island ahead. At the end of the island, go left through the small rapid to exit the channel.

Next, work your way across the river for 0.4 mile through riffles and flatwater to set up for a left-center approach to the Class II+ rapids ahead (40.034754, -75.241151).

Class II+ rapids. (beginning at 40.035182, -75.241406).
Enter the rapids (enlarged below) to the right of the large RL rock formation and stay in the current as it goes diagonally from right to left and then exits in a long wave train along the RL bank.

Only one feature remains in this series, and that is usually an easy, flatwater, center-to-left passage through another boulder formation (40.028159, -75.232250), about 0.7 mile below this Class II.

Water levels:
Using USGS Philadelphia Gauge (#01474500),  we follow these water level recommendations for this section of the river:

Minimum: 5.73 ft (300 cfs)*
Good: 6.27 ft (2000 cfs)*

*CFS (Cubic Feet per Second) is included in these recommendations, because the Discharge graph and values (measured in CFS) are what the Philadelphia Canoe Club has used for paddling activities below Flat Rock Dam.

Action Maps from “A Paddler’s Guide to the Schuylkill River Water Trail”