Kiskiminetas River

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Kiskiminetas River
View across the Kiskiminetas River, looking downstream from the shoreline along Leechburg, Pennsylvania
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
Source Confluence of Conemaugh River and Loyalhanna Creek
 - location Saltsburg, Pennsylvania
 - coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. [1]
Mouth Allegheny River
 - location Schenley, Pennsylvania
 - elevation 745 ft (227 m) [1]
 - coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. [1]
Length 27 mi (43 km)
Location of the mouth of the Kiskiminetas River in Pennsylvania

The Kiskiminetas River (called the Kiski for short) is a tributary of the Allegheny River, approximately 27 miles (43 km) long, in Western Pennsylvania in the United States.[1] The region surrounding the Kiskiminetas is often referred to as the Alle-Kiski Valley after the rivers.


The Kiskiminetas River is formed at Saltsburg, on the border between Westmoreland and Indiana counties, by the confluence of the Conemaugh River and Loyalhanna Creek. It flows northwest in a meandering course past Avonmore, Apollo, Vandergrift, Hyde Park and Leechburg. It joins the Allegheny River near Freeport at Schenley, approximately 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Pittsburgh.

The Kiski-Conemaugh watershed includes much of the historic coal-producing region of Western Pennsylvania. The water quality is considered degraded by numerous abandoned mine drainages in its upper reaches and tributaries, leading to on-going efforts by federal, state, and private agencies to improve the water quality of the river. The Kittanning Path, a major trail in the region used by Native Americans and early European settlers, crossed the river at a ford near present-day Leechburg.


(Mouth at the Allegheny River)

  • Elder Run
  • Brady Run
  • Guffy Run
  • Carnahan Run
  • Pine Run
  • Beaver Run
  • Roaring Run
    • Rattling Run
  • Flat Run
  • Wolford Run
  • Long Run
  • Blacklegs Creek
    • Big Run
    • Marshall Run
    • Harpers Run
    • Nesbit Run
    • Hooper Run
    • Whisky Run
  • Loyalhanna Creek
  • Conemaugh River


There is no definite interpretation of the origin of the name. It may come from a Native American phrase Kithanne, meaning "Place of the largest stream." According to regional historians in the area, the name has historically had several other possible meanings, including: "river of the big fish" and "plenty of walnuts." Robert Walker Smith in his "History of Armstrong County, Pennsylvania" (Chicago: Waterman, Watkins & Co., 1883) reported that John Heckewelder (a Moravian writer, explorer, and historian who wrote about the Lenape and other tribes in Western Pennsylvania in the 18th century) claimed that the name is "corrupted from Gieschgumanito, signifying, make daylight. In this case, the etymology is: Gisch-gu---day; gisch-que---today; gieschapen---it is daybreak; manitoon---to make. It was probably the word of command, given by a warrior to his comrades at night to break up camp and resume the journey, or war-path." Smith also described another possible meaning from another source: "It is said in McCullough's Narrative, that the Indians called this river Kee-ak-ksheman-nit-toos, signifying 'cut spirit'." Smith noted that he preferred Heckewelder's definition. It is also possible that "Kiskiminetas" means "clear, clean stream of many bends."

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Kiskiminetas River". Geographic Names Information System. 1979-08-02. Retrieved 2010-05-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links