Family Fun at the Tohickan Release

Growing up in Pennsylvania meant being privy to a surprising wealth of whitewater. There are plenty of rivers within a few hours drive of my parents house ranging from grade I-V.

My favorite of these is a small, grade 2-3 creek called the Tohickan, or the Toh. It is rain-fed, and also dam releases a few times a year. The running joke is my family is that every time I am home, the Toh runs, so my Dad consistently entreats me to come visit so he can go kayaking.

This year, the dates for the Fall Tohickan release conveniently lined up with my 10 days in Philadelphia, so off we went for a day of family fun on the Tohickan.

Cold, clear weather meant the fam dressed in our matching NRS drysuits (SO CUTE). We joined up with my parent’s regular boating crew- Charlie Ferguson and Leo to run a quick shuttle, then all put on together.

After a little roll practice at the put-in first up was warm up surfs at a spot called No Fish No Swim. Our crew crushed the spins and side surfs, with my mom tearing it up in the Small Antix.

We surfed our way downstream to the first main rapid, where there were several line options. I went right, and everyone went left. We met up in the eddy below and spent the next half an hour or more surfing a fun, green wave.

What I love about the Toh is that is super accessible- the run can take as little as 40 minutes or up to 2 ½ hours- then after a 10-minute shuttle, you can go and run it again.

The river is full of fun, small boofs, tons of eddies and moves to make either attaining upstream or slaloming your way downstream, as well as tons of fun little surf spots. Add in pretty scenery and a good crew and your day is made.

The crux rapid of the Toh is the grade 2-3 Slalom Course, named for all eddies and different lines to take. It is the longest rapid followed by a super fun boof rapid that ends in the biggest surf feature on the river and my parent’s favorite, Green Monster.

After Green Monster is Hat Rock Rapid, where people gather to watch the sometimes carnage before heading downstream to Pyramid rock. I challenged my mom to an eddy on the right followed by a jet ferry out across a hole. She crushed it, and Dad followed suit.

We floated downstream in the sunshine to the takeout. My mom, Charlie, Leo and I went back up for a fast second lap, while Dad cooked food at the takeout.

After the second run, we drank beers in the sunshine and ate Indian food. Solid family outing- and a great reason to come home.

Comments on “Family Fun at the Tohickan Release”

No comments, be the first to comment!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.