“Pennsylvania creeking in the winter is a beast of its own nature,” says local photographer Regina Nicolardi. “Our winters get pretty bitter and stormy.” But that’s the time of year when Black Creek, and a handful of other Class IV-V tributaries to the Lehigh River, tend to run.
If you go, make sure your adrenaline glands aren’t frozen for Upper Black Creek: It’s a continuous and technical Class IV-V boulder garden, with a takeout conveniently located behind the police station in Weatherly, Pa., on the western edge of the Poconos. The creek’s lower section is milder, with five miles of Class III followed by a seven-mile run on the Lehigh. Still, it’s winter boating, PA-style.
“Ice chunks, shelves and choked slots are always a concern and the days are short,” Nicolardi says. “Light is typically gone from the gorge by 3:30.” — EB
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