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I started in Warren, PA, on August 17 and paddled for 15 days (with one day off and one 'double-day'... i.e. 15 paddling hours / 30 miles in one day).
The Allegheny, from Warren to its terminus at the Ohio river, can be divided into two different sections: the Middle Allegheny (roughly the 100 miles from Warren to Emlenton) and the Lower Allegheny (the 112 miles from Emlenton to Pittsburgh).
The Middle Allegheny was characteristically low for the season. Several places required me to get out of Elinore, and, with the lighted load, drag her through the shallow water. The scenery and experiences were stunning, including bald eagles swooping out of the sky to snatch fish from the river only 30 feet from my canoe, taking showers in mountain-fed waterfalls, midnight paddles to find campsites that were marginally comfortable, and the like. The Oil City Rapids were fine, but I'm glad that I scouted them first. There were only one or two lines that were hazard-free.
The best sections of the river (from my vantage point... a guy who prefers solitude and seclusion to a plethora of people) were from Warren to just short of Oil City, and from Franklin to Foxburg. The whole 212 mile stretch of river is an easy paddle (although pretty tiring when paddling solo with a canoe full of gear).
One fun part of the journey was to be joined by a pastor-friend and his two boys for one day of paddling in the Middle Allegheny and then again by another buddy for a weekend of paddling in the lower section of the river.
The least pleasant part of the journey was the Lower Allegheny, particularly finding suitable campsites very close to Pittsburgh. In these instances, 'stealth camping' was the only choice. Also, weekends in the lower sections weren't so fun, where power-boats and their insipid wakes double the effort and halve the pleasure.
All in all, it was a great experience... invigorating, tiring, rewarding, and serene.
If you wish to view a photo/video gallery of my entire two-week journey, it is located at:
1 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
Kayak Deck Gear Bags