Kayak the Francis E. Walter Dam
Constructed in 1961 by the Army Corps of Engineers for flood management, the Francis E. Walter Dam spans the Lehigh River at its confluence with Bear Creek. The reservoir was named after local United States Representative, Francis E. Walter in 1963. Prior to the construction of the dam, the Lehigh River was subject to regular flooding events from large ice dams breaking apart after heavy rains. Some of these flooding events would result in waves 30 feet high that swept downstream destroying anything in its path. Since construction, the dam has prevented nearly $230 million in flood damages to the Lehigh River Valley.
There are two separate launch points on either side of the dam: one for kayaks/canoes and the other for motorboats. While paddling along the banks of the reservoir you can find water snakes cruising the shallows, rattlesnakes sunning themselves on the rock ledges, birds nesting on the cliffs, frogs, and toads, and a variety of landscapes. The views vary from a sunken forest, rock cliffs, pines, and shallow grassy areas. If you visit when the dam is low, some areas of the reservoir look like you are on a different planet.
PHOTOS FROM THE RESERVOIR
The overall landscape here is beautiful. My favorite locations on the reservoir are the sunken forest and the shallows towards the back of the property where Bear Creek flows into the dam. If you visit the reservoir when the toads and frogs are looking for a mate, you will be serenaded by a lovely chorus of croaks.
GPS, HOURS & PARKING
146 Walter Dam Road, White Haven, Pennsylvania 18661
MORE OF MY TRAIL NOTES
Note: Masks are required indoors and outdoors. When indoors, masks are required anytime you're with people outside of your household, even if you're socially distant. Face masks are required in all federal buildings and on federal lands. Always check local guidelines before traveling.
Keywords: bear creek, bear creek preserve, discover NEPA, get outside, Hiking, hiking blog, keep nature wild, leave no trace, pocono mountains, wild keeper ambassador, wilkes barre
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