by Jeremy

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For many years, Kayak Pittsburgh operated a rental location right on the Allegheny River just below the Roberto Clemente Bridge on the North Side. We always tried to get a rental here, but the days we were free often were met with extreme heat or super high river levels (read: incredibly fast flow) such that we missed our chance before they closed.

So when the company moved upstream to a new location at the James Sharp Landing in Sharpsburg in 2022, we knew we had to go as soon as it opened.

What Can You See Kayaking in Sharpsburg?

Kayak Pittsburgh in Sharpsburg

The Allegheny River near the James Sharp Landing is a tranquil and beautiful spot for kayaking.

The launch point at the landing is located just about a half-mile west of the Highland Park Dam and the private Sixmile Island. While you are allowed to kayak close to these, there are some restrictions. You cannot get terribly close to the dam due to safety concerns and Sixmile Island is private property so you can only observe from a distance.

Highland Park Bridge and Dam

But the hour-long kayak rental will allow you to get a good look at this calm section of the river where you’re mostly alone in nature apart from a few jet skis or boats departing from the nearby marinas.

To be honest, for half our kayak we weren’t looking at any particular sight as an attraction, but simply laying back, floating on the river, and enjoying being away from the hustle and bustle of the city (despite our close proximity to downtown). Being able to get out on a quiet stretch of water this close to downtown is truly one of the perks of the Allegheny River!

Sixmile Island

So while we were only properly kayaking for about 30 minutes of our hour-long rental, this spot made for easy exploration all the same. 

That being said, kayaking on the rivers always has some concerns to keep in mind. First off, while the dam regulates the water flow here a fair bit, you always should check for updates after heavy rains. We went during a dry spell and felt virtually no current, but after periods of heavy rain we expect this to change considerably- so if you are an unsure kayaker, definitely watch out for that.

Kayaking on the Allegheny River

But that being said, in a period of slow flow, this kayak trip was incredibly easy and reminded us of kayaking on a lake over being on a flowing river! 

Overall, while there may be slightly less to see when kayaking near Sharpsburg, we had a relaxing hour out on the river just outside of downtown Pittsburgh and recommend checking out Kayak Pittsburgh for some great river fun!

Kayak Pittsburgh is located at James Sharp Landing at 1301 Main Street in Sharpsburg, PA. 

Looking for other places to kayak near Pittsburgh? Check out 10.7 Marina and Sycamore Island as well as kayaking in North Park!



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