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The Conemaugh River was the course of a canal that provided a transport link from Pittsburgh to Johnstown in the 1800s. From Johnstown, freight was portaged over the mountains and floated down a another series of canals and waterways to Philadelphia. Parts of the canal channel and other structures are still visible along the way.
The best part about the river is the scenic beauty. Since its heyday of the canal, the river has also served as an industrial waterway. But the last few decades has seen it revert mostly back to its natural state.
If you like to fish, this river has action. Any species you find in the Allegheny River is found all the way up to the dam.
This river has had a hard past but has come back nicely. So if you are going to use it, please help keep it clean. Don't abuse the property along the way. Leave it the way you found it and the Conemaugh River will continue its comeback.
For the section between Johnstown and Blairsville- There are a number of other put in locations in towns and bridges located near Rt 22 between Blairsville and Johnstown. The towns of Seward, New Florence and Bolivar all have river access.
Once you get below Blairsville, you get into the reservoir where there is almost no access unless you are willing to make a long portage.
An easy day trip is from the Conemaugh Dam to Saltsburg. This is about 7 miles and can be covered in 2.5 - 4 hours depending on the flow. Below Saltsburg, you start to get into the towns of Apollo, Vandergrift & Leechburg. You can take out at any of these starting from the Dam.
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