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Tulpehocken Creek is a tributary of the Schuylkill River, approximately 24 mi (40 km) long, in southeastern Pennsylvaniamarker in the United Statesmarker. An important transportation route in the early United States, the creek drains a limestone hill country area of Berks Countymarker south of the Appalachian Mountainsmarker and is considered one of the finest trout streams in southeastern Pennsylvania. The valley of the creek was known in colonial times as the Tulpehocken, stretching west of Readingmarker. It was inhabited by the Lenape and was a destination for early German-speaking settlers. The name comes from a Lenape word Tulpewikaki, meaning "land of turtles." It is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River.

Description

It rises in western Lebanon County, Pennsylvaniamarker and flows generally east, in a winding course, through Myerstownmarker, entering Berks County, passing north of Womelsdorfmarker. At Womelsdorf it turns abruptly north, then flows southeast, through the Blue Marsh Lake reservoir and joins the Schuylkill at Reading.

In the 1720s, the creek valley was a destination for early Swissmarker and Palatine settlers, who used the creek for extensive milling operations. In the 19th century, it provided an important early transportation route with the building in 1828 of the Union Canalmarker along the river, connecting from its headwaters to those of Quittapahilla Creekmarker in Lebanon County. The canal, first surveyed in the 1790s provided the first water route between the Susquehanna River and the Delaware River, allowing large shipments of coal to Philadelphiamarker.

The creek is impounded for flood control above Reading by the earthen Blue Marsh Dam (see Blue Marsh State Park) completed in 1979 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to form the Blue Marsh Lake reservoir. The bottom-release design of the dam allows for the discharge of a cold water at a constant temperature, resulting in an ideal habitat for rainbow trout and brown trout, which are stocked annually in the stream.

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