Things to Do on the Yellow Breeches Creek
Be on the lookout for a variety of ducks and wading birds, warblers, wrens, woodpeckers, Cedar Waxwings, Golden-crowned Kinglets, and Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers.
If fly fishing is your forte, Yellow Breeches Creek is an angler’s delight. The most popular catch and release section is a mile long and runs through Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs. Designated as a “Pennsylvania Scenic River”, Yellow Breeches never has a shortage of trout (mix of stocked and wild trout). Check the Yellow Breeches Creek fly-fishing report for current fishing conditions.
If you are visiting the Valley, it's best to bring your own kayak or canoe. If you prefer to rent a kayak or canoe, Susquehanna Outfitters, in nearby Wormleysburg, has rentals available for off-site trips. You must supply your own secure tie-down racks or straps or they can arrange for delivery and pickup for an additional fee.
Please feel free to bring your own tub, but if you love float trips but dislike having to worry about bringing tubes for a large group or handling transportation from your starting and finishing points, then reserve a trip with Creekside at Liberty Forge. They handle all the details so that you can have a relaxing and carefree float trip. (NOTE: This is not a guided trip.)
If it's your first time out on the water, Susquehanna Outfitters offers kayak and canoe trips on certain dates from spring to mid-September with an expert guide for that extra peace-of-mind. Adventure Explorations provides a fully customizable experience for any activity level and can also accommodate those with physical limitations.
Tips To Help You Plan Your Trip
Here are some logistical suggestions to help you make the most of your day along the Yellow Breeches Creek.
- Use of the creek is limited to daylight hours and access along all points is free.
- Start by reviewing the Yellow Breeches Creek Water Trail Map & Guide (pdf.), which provides a list of access points, suggested trip ideas, and recreation information for approximately 22 miles of the Yellow Breeches Creek in Cumberland Valley.
- If possible, you should provide your own kayaks, canoes, or tubes. There are limited locations in Cumberland Valley to rent this equipment. (See above.)
- Choose your entry and exit locations but note that access points may occasionally be closed. Please use only public access points. Respect private property and do not trespass to reach the creek.
- Drive two or more vehicles (depending upon the size of your group) to your planned exit location. Then, shuttle your group to the entry point where you can park. The stream is very popular during the summer, so have a backup plan in case no parking is available at your desired location. Remember that there is private property along the creek. Please be respectful of residents and do not park on roads with No Parking signs.
- For your safety, please do not use any rope swings you see along the creek. They are especially dangerous during low water levels.
- Embrace Leave No Trace principals and pack out your garbage,.
- Suggested supplies: Whether you are fishing, tubing, or kayaking/canoeing, bring plenty of sunscreen; drinking water and snacks; a waterproof bag for items such as cell phones, keys, and dry clothing; water shoes; bug spray, a personal flotation device, and a whistle. Tubers should consider bringing a pump and a floating cooler to keep drinks nearby.
- Camping is prohibited at all access points with the exception of Lower Allen Community Park (B4).
- The hazards located along the Yellow Breeches are dams and dam remnants. Use extreme caution. Taking out and navigating around the dam is the safest option. Watch for sharp angular rocks and iron around the dams. You may also encounter natural hazards along the creek such as downed trees that may impede your trip. The Visitors Bureau does not maintain the creek and we are unable to provide natural hazard warnings unless they are reported to us. As the Cumberland County Planning Department is made aware of these hazards, they will be listed on the Department's Facebook page. While the Department does its best to share this information in a timely manner, creek users are encouraged to scout their routes, know the hazards along the way, stay out of the creek during moderate to high-risk flows.
- Check water levels before hitting the creek. View Yellow Breeches Creek near Camp Hill, for real-time water levels. The suggested Gage Level for boating and tubing is 1.4-2.0. At 1.4, expect to have to walk around some shallow spots or have a boat scrape on rocks. Tubing should not be attempted at Gage Levels above 2.0, and boating should not be attempted at Gage Levels above 3.0.
- Keep track of the CFS (volume of stream discharge). Levels above 200 CFS could contain dangerous strainers that can’t be avoided by paddling or easy portage. Higher CFS combined with higher water level makes it harder to maintain footing if standing on the creek bed and harder to escape entrapment in a strainer.
Float times vary based upon the CFS rate of the creek. Low flow, lazy day trips average about 1 mile-per-hour. The moderate flow rate is closer to 2 miles-per-hour. The float rate for paddling a boat is 1 to 2 miles-per-hour but will vary depending upon paddling skill and level of paddling effort versus drifting and resting.
Trips on the Yellow Breeches Creek
We've provided some details for a few sections of Trip B. For more information and Trips A & B as well as access points, download the Yellow Breeches Creek Water Trail Map & Guide (pdf.), click on a park name, or view the Interactive Yellow Breeches Water Trail Map.
Trip A - Suggested Tube Float for Beginners; approximately 2 miles
- B1 - Messiah University (5/1/20: The campus is currently closed to the public. Access to the creek at this location is not available.)
- B2 - Simpson Park
- B3 - McCormick Park
- B4 - Lower Allen Community Park; Lower Allen Community Park has a number of facilities, including restrooms and ample parking. For tubers and boaters, follow the entrance road down to the creek and park in one of the parking lots closest to the creek’s ramp access. Boaters and tubers will come across the Liberty Forge (B5) access point roughly 30 minutes after leaving the park. Although not open yet, a restaurant with bar service is planned at this access point. The trip from B4 to B6 is mostly shallow, with some deeper areas. In the summer of 2020, there was a fallen tree fallen blocking all but a small section of the creek. Please get out of your tube to safely navigate this section. Other downed trees are also along the creek but are easier to navigate around. The historic iron bridge at Yellow Breeches Park makes identifying the exit point on this trip easy. There is no ramp exit at this park; be prepared to walk up the creek bank.
- B5 - Liberty Forge
- B6 - Yellow Breeches Park: Yellow Breeches Park is off the beaten path and offers limited facilities including picnic benches and a short walking trail. There is no paved access to the creek; boaters and tubers need to walk down a bank to access the water. There is a historic iron bridge at the entry point. The creek in this portion varies in depth from deep enough to swim (4-5 feet) to shallow spots that tubers will need to walk around. Because this trip ends at a dam, the flow is slower in this portion of the creek and, near the end, tubers may need to paddle to shore. This section does have some downed trees to navigate around, and it is imperative that everyone watches for the dam and exits the creek beforehand. Due to the dam, there is a significant amount of silt at the take-out point. If you do not have tightly-fitted shoes, you may want to remove them before stepping into the silt. The United Water Pennsylvania take-out only offers a parking lot. There is a VERY sharp turn going from United Water Pennsylvania to Yellow Breeches Park; please drive with care.
- B7 - United Water Pennsylvania, Inc (UWPA)
- B8 - Spangler's Mill
- B9 - Creekwood Park
- C3 - New Cumberland Borough Park & Dam: TAKE OUT ONLY