Little Conemaugh River

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Little Conemaugh River runs through a channel in Johnstown, just a few hundred feet from the Conemaugh.

The Little Conemaugh River is a tributary of the Conemaugh River, approximately 30 mi (48 km) long, in western Pennsylvania in the United States.

The main branch rises in eastern Cambria County, along the western slope of the Appalachian ridge separating the watersheds of the Ohio and Susquehanna rivers. It flows west-southwest through the mountains, past Cassandra, Portage, and Summerhill, where it is joined by the South Fork Little Conemaugh River. It joins the Stonycreek River at Johnstown to form the Conemaugh.

Mine drainage[edit]

The river flows through scenic mountainous areas but is considered severely degraded by abandoned mine drainage – most notably, the Hughes bore hole[1] – from the long exploitation of the region's coal resources. The recovery of the river is an ongoing project of federal, state, and private agencies.[2]


From 1834 to 1854 the river was paralleled by the Allegheny Portage Railroad,[3] connecting the two branches of Pennsylvania Main Line Canal, with the western terminus of the portage railroad at Johnstown.

On May 31, 1889, a dam on the South Fork holding back a slightly longer than 2 mile reservoir failed, sending a wall of water down the Little Conemaugh at 40 mph (64 km/h) and up to 60 ft (18 m) high, resulting in the loss of over 2,200 lives in one of the worst disasters in U.S. history—the Johnstown Flood.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AMD & ART Hughes Bore hole". Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  2. ^ "Stonycreek - Conemaugh River Improvement Project". Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  3. ^ "Allegheny Portage Railroad of the Pennsylvania Canal". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°24′26″N 78°39′13″W / 40.40728°N 78.65369°W / 40.40728; -78.65369