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Sunnyside Paddling Park – A Hidden Gem for Boaters


273 Sunnyside Blvd Bellefonte, PA 16823

An unknown spot to many but a favorite of the watersport world is Sunnyside Paddling Park. Right behind Tussey Mountain Outfitters (in the water) , the paddle park provides access to a slalom course on the moving waters of Spring Creek. The park was founded by 5 teammates from the 1963 World Slalom Championships: Tom Southworth, Dave Guss, Dave Kurtz, Hank Yeagley, and Les Bechde. 

Throughout the years, the park has been the source of introduction to kayak and canoe paddling for hundreds of adults and children. In- and out-of-water maintenance and funding is provided by the Mach One Slalom Team. Also aiding with upkeep of the course and surrounding area is Tussey Mountain Outfitters. 

Founder Dave Kurtz describes the park as, "... an area where workers can travel locally to after work, put in some time on the water, and enjoy the outside for recreation and physical effort. Here is an area where youth and adults alike can develop skills in kayaking and canoeing. Here one can be a first time paddler and take lessons from top notch national level paddlers. It is an area unique to the entire state of Pennsylvania".

The park is host to 2-3 slalom races a year, several paddler training events, formal paddling activities, and park ranger training for the PA State Parks Organization. The park continues to be a top-notch park for paddlers around the country, with visitors known to come from New York, DC, and Pittsburgh, among many others.

Next time you want to try something new and adventurous-check out Sunnyside Paddling Park!

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