Youghiogheny River: Connellsville to West Newton

Connellsville, PA

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A 26-mile overnight canoe trip on a flatwater portion of the Youghiogheny River. The first day's trip is 14 miles from Connellsville, PA to a primitive campsite on Layton Island, near Perryopolis, PA. The second day's trip is 12 miles to West Newton, PA.

The put-in point is at a public boat launch in Connellsville, PA near River Mile 44. The first half of the first day's trip is in relatively shallow water with a few small rapids. The latter half is in a deeper part of the river that is easier to navigate. The latter half of the first day's trip is also one of the more scenic parts of the trip with views of Youghiogheny River Gorge.

The first day's trip ends at Layton Island, which is a large, wooded island with primitive campsites near River Mile 30. The main campsite is on the south (river left) side of the island about midway down. There are secondary campsites throughout the island. All campsites are first-come, first-serve.

The second day's trip is from Layton Island to West Newton, near River Mile 18. The first portion of the second day's trip is through shallower water, so some portage should be expected. The fastest water of the trip is near River Mile 25. There is a three-foot drop in the river here that can be negotiated safely by keeping river left.

The final stretch of the trip is a pleasant trip to West Newton that passes through Cedar Creek Park at River Mile 22.

The first day's trip can be done in about eight hours with a couple of stops for lunch, fishing, or swimming. It's advisable to get to Layton Island before dark since there is some poison ivy on the island, and it will take some bushwhacking to find the secondary campsites if the main campsite is taken. The second day's trip can be done in about six hours with a short stop for lunch.

From the North: Take PA 119 S to Connellsville. Turn right onto N. 7th Street and take the first right onto Torrance Avenue. Torrance Avenue turns into N. 6th Street. From N. 6th Street, turn left onto Meason Street and then left onto N. 3rd Street. Follow N. 3rd Street to boat launch.

From the South: Take PA 119 N to Connelsville. Turn left onto S. 7th Street. Turn left onto Meason Street and then left onto N. 3rd Street. Follow N. 3rd Street to boat launch.

Layton Island is a primitive campsite with no facilities. However, there are public parks and pay campsites along the river that have restrooms.

Parking is available at the boat launch. However, unless you have a friend with a truck to haul you and your boat upriver, it's better to park at one of the canoe outfitters in the West Newton area. Outfitters will let you park overnight and transport you and your boat to the Connellsville launch for a small fee.

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