Red Bank Creek

A.  Brookville to Summerville                      10.5 miles

Class           Grad                    Size (Area/Volume)                  Scene/Poll             Level

   C-I            6/10                   Medium (220/367)                      B/B                           
                                                          Brookville                                             St. Charles

Topographic Maps: Brookville, Corsica, Summerville

County Maps: Jefferson

Description: The first half of this run flows in a shallow valley and is paralleled only by the railroad. Occasional strip mine scars can be seen. At mid-run, State Route 28 joins the stream which now flows against low hills with a broad flat valley. [Reported 1987]

Difficulties: None on Red Bank. Paddlers should not attempt to put in on the North Fork above Brookville for access to Red Bank. There is a dangerous drop on the North Fork under the US Route 322 bridge. See warning and description for that stream on page 302.

Shuttle: Put in near the junction of Sandy Lick Creek and North Fork behind the White-Brook, Inc. building in Brook­ville. This is river left, upstream of the Pickering Street bridge (concrete bridge above State Route 36 steel bridge). Take State Route 28 south to Summerville. In Summerville take a left/east turn on any road towards the river. Pick a spot along the river road that will not antagonize the locals.

Gauges: St. Charles. This gauge further down­stream will probably read above 3.8 feet (2003 rating table). This corresponds to a flow of 575 cfs at St Charles.

Normal Wet Period: St. Charles above 3.8 feet 44% of the time.

B.  Summerville to New Bethlehem            16.5 miles

Class           Grad                    Size (Area/Volume)                  Scene/Poll             Level

   C-I            6/11                   Medium (350/583)                      B/B               3.8-5.6
                                                            estimate                                               St. Charles

Topographic Maps: Summerville, New Bethlehem

County Maps: Jefferson, Clarion, Armstrong

Description: The first 5 miles has sweeping bends in a wide valley. Just below the run's only railroad bridge, the creek enters a shallow canyon about 300 feet deep that continues for the middle 5 miles of the run. Little Sandy Creek enters the Red Bank while in this canyon. The canyon ends at State Route 536 at Mayport and State Route 28 rejoins the stream. The final 5 miles is again in a wide valley with a series of towns ending with New Bethlehem. The last mile is on the backwater of the dam in New Bethlehem. [Reported 1998]

Difficulties: None. Take out on river right above the dam in New Bethlehem. Stay well clear of chute on river right at the dam.

Shuttle: State Route 28 connects New Bethlehem to Sum­mer­ville. At Summerville take a right-hand turn on any road to the river. Alternate put-ins are available at Heathville for a 12 mile trip, and Mayport for a 5.5 mile trip.

Gauges: St. Charles. This gauge should read between 3.8 and 5.6 feet (2003 rating table). This corresponds to a flow of 575 to 1,710 cfs.

Normal Wet Period: This section is normally runnable from early December through late May and does not have a season where it is too high. The St. Charles gauge is above 3.8 feet 44% of the time and above 5.6 feet 16% of the time.

C.  New Bethlehem                                        27.8 miles
to Rimer on the Allegheny River

C. New Bethlehem  to Rimer

Class           Grad                    Size (Area/Volume)                  Scene/Poll             Level

     I               9/29                   Medium (528/873)                     A/B               3.6-6.9
Short II-III                                      St. Charles                                             St. Charles

Topographic Maps: New Bethlehem, Distant, Templeton, Sligo, East Brady

County Maps: Clarion, Armstrong

Description: This is a major tributary of the Allegheny that is freeflowing, unlike many of its neighbors to the north and south. This section enters a canyon that reaches 500 feet deep in places and maintains a serpentine course against high hills with a mixture of hardwood and evergreens. Shortly below New Bethlehem there is a 3 mile loop that comes within 500 feet of closing on itself. The loop is visible from above on the shuttle road near Distant. The 11.7 mile section between Climax and Lawsonham has 15 feet per mile average gradient. The current is reasonably swift but the rocks are small. [Reported 1998]

Difficulties: The rapids in St. Charles were altered significantly in the flood of July 1996. As you approach St. Charles there is 200-foot long section of Class II-III whitewater. The channel is on the left and it contains 2 foot or so standing waves. In 2001 it was a straight shot with no particular rock obstructions, just a bouncy run. It can be carried. Immediately below the bridge is another channel split. Most of the water is on the right side of the river. You can scout from the island to verify the passage. These channels are caused by an island that was created when the flood dumped a load of bricks from the brick factory into the middle of the river. Note that both of these rapids will change over time as the river recovers from the effects of the flood. If you have chosen the section of this trip that includes the Allegheny River be aware of the lock and dam about 2 miles downstream from the mouth. See the description of the Ohio River for locking through a lock and dam on page 91. One wants to approach it along the left-hand shore and remain clear of any barge traffic.

Shuttle: Put in on stream right, just below a small 5‑foot dam at the bridge where State Route 28/66 crosses the creek in New Bethlehem. To find the take-out, take State Route 28/66 south, leave 28/66 by going straight in Distant, turn right a quarter of a mile past Kellersburg, take right fork 1.6 miles past Widnoon (at Tidal). At Lawsonham, take out immediately below the bridge on the right. Ask the landowner if you can use this grassy spot. Follow this road 3 miles to mouth of the Red Bank and the Allegheny River. This take-out is about 50 yards downstream from the mouth. It is terribly steep and across the railroad tracks from the cars. A better take-out is at Lock and Dam No. 9 on the Allegheny River 2 miles downstream from the mouth of the Red Bank. Continue straight at Tidal to Rimer and follow access road 2 miles upstream to the lock. This section has a number of intermediate access points. Two of the more commonly run trips are New Bethlehem to St. Charles, and Climax to Lawsonham.


New Bethlehem to Climax                                                       6.1 miles

Climax to St. Charles                                                                           2.6 miles

St. Charles to Lawsonham                                                       9.1 miles

Lawsonham to Allegheny River                                            6.0 miles

Allegheny River to Lock and Dam                                        2.0 miles

Lock and Dam to Rimer                                                            2.0 miles

Gauges: St. Charles. This gauge should read between 3.6 and 6.9 feet (2003 rating table). This corresponds to a flow of 475 to 3,120 cfs.

Normal Wet Period: This section is normally runnable from late November through late May and does not have a season where it is too high. The St. Charles gauge is above 3.6 feet 49% of the time and above 6.9 feet 5% of the time.