Top 20 River Spots in the Susquehanna River Valley
The majestic Susquehanna River, at roughly 444 miles long, is the longest river on the east coast. It forms at the North Branch in upstate New York and travels through Pennsylvania and into the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Winding its way through the historic towns of the Susquehanna River Valley, it provides year round inspiration and recreation. This list is certainly not exhaustive, but provides twenty unique and memorable river spots.
We think you'll agree that around every trail, turn and river bend, there's a treasure waiting for you.
1. See the Susquehanna River by paddleboat! Cruise aboard the Hiawatha, which docks at the Susquehanna State Park in Williamsport, and hear about boom rats, lumberjacks and the characters on the river that once made Williamsport the home of the most millionaires per capita! The Hiawatha features family, concert, karaoke, brunch, dinner and wing cruises.
2. Historic Watsontown River Bridge: The view from the Watsontown River Bridge is breathtaking - but the bridge itself is significant, too. In 2006, the PA Department of Transportation won a historic preservation award for its rehabilitation of the bridge. It was designed and constructed in 1927. In 1988 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its engineering significance. It is an unusual example of a long, multi-span open-spandrel arch bridge having solid barrels rather than individual arch rings.
3. Milton State Park: Ideal for walking, biking and picnics, this Park is an 82-acre island in the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. It also features wildlife habitat, a children's playground, soccer fields, a boat launch, and great fishing spots along the Susquehanna River.
4. Lincoln Park Gazebo in Downtown Milton: Located on Front Street, this Gazebo is home to Concerts in the Park in the summer months and provides a year-round view of the Susquehanna River.
5. Lewisburg River Bridge/Soldier's Park: Located on Water Street, this Park is the perfect spot for a quiet picnic lunch and a view of the Susquehanna River and Lewisburg River Bridge. The bridge is elegantly dotted with the three-globed lampposts that are part-and-parcel of Lewisburg's charm.
6. Mariah's Garden, Lewisburg: Enjoy the flowers and the River's edge at this peaceful garden, located on Walnut Alley.
7. The Fence Drive-In: Take a trip back in time at this local eatery. Dine in your car while enjoying our friendly car-hop service or sit at one of the many picnic tables overlooking the beautiful Susquehanna River. On State Route 405, one mile south of the Lewisburg River Bridge.
8. Chillisquaque Access and Boat Ramp: Looking for a place to launch your own boat, kayak or canoe? It is located four miles north of Northumberland on Route 405.
9. Camp along the river! The Susquehanna River Trail Association maintains 23 campsites on islands stretching from Sunbury to Harrisburg. Canoeing, fishing & kayaking are promoted as ways to experience this wilderness. There are many campgrounds located along the river, such as Riverside Campground and Fantasy Island Campground, but River Edge RV Park and Marina in Winfield also rents canoes and kayaks to the public.
10. Bike along the River at the Shikellamy State Park and Marina, then take in the view of Northumberland, Sunbury and beyond from the Shikellamy Overlook. The State Park and Marina are located at the confluence of the West and North Branches of the Susquehanna River - literally the heart of the Susquehanna River Valley.
11. Skeeter's Pit BBQ: Enjoy wood-fired BBQ and an amazing view of the Susquehanna River from their inside eating area or their outside patio. You'll love the food...and you'll never forget the view.
12. Gaze at the river from Sunbury's Chestnut Street Gazebo, or drive your car over the Chestnut Street Ramp to access the other side of the flood wall. This is a great local spot for fishing on the River.
13.The Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam and the inflatable dam that creates Lake Augusta in the spring and summer months is one of a kind. This pristine area frequently lures all kinds of water birds and is an ideal fishing location.
Access to the Lake can be gained chiefly through the Shikellamy State Park between Sunbury and Northumberland (see #10). The park offers 100 marina slips and boat launching areas for day trippers.
14. Have a private plane? Consider landing at the Sunbury Airport at Packer's Island. The view of the river from the air in this particular spot will take your breath away.
15. Did you know that Selinsgrove has its own residential island? The Isle of Que can be accessed from the East Pine Street bridge. This small community hosts a one-day Antiques show every July, called Antiques on the Isle. Stroll along the banks of the river or launch your boat from the river access.
16. Dine alfresco at Penn's Tavern, a historic tavern built in 1703. Located on Route 147 just 7 miles south of Sunbury, it provides an outdoor patio and a serene view of the Susquehanna.
17. McKees Half Falls Rest Area, located on Routes 11 and 15 heading to or from Harrisburg is a perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch, use the restrooms and regroup. So peaceful and serene, you may have trouble getting back into the car to continue your journey.
18. Explore the River by boat - but let someone else be the captain! The Millersburg Ferry travels across the mile wide Susquehanna daily, May to October from 9 am until dusk. Ride the last ferry on the river and experience a part of transportation history. Each ferry accommodates 4 vehicles and 50 passengers.
19. Hunters Valley Winery, located off of Routes 11 & 15 in Liverpool, provides daily wine tastings and views of endless mountains and vineyards - all accompanied by the backdrop of the Susquehanna River.
20. Another hidden boat launch is the Susquehanna River Shady Nook Access Area, it's 4.7 acres of land that was donated by PPL Utilities for a public boat access in Hummels Wharf. Activities include unlimited horsepower boating, shallow-draft, lightweight fishing boats, canoes and inflatables.
Have you visited one of these spots and have a testimonial that you'd like to share?
- Renting a Kayak or Canoe -- Vargo Outdoors, Big Earl's Bike Shop, or Lake Augusta Outfitters (LAO has pontoon boats, too)
- Guided Kayak and Canoe Trips -- Canoe Susquehanna
- Learning to Row -- Central PA Rowing Association
- River Guide -- Isle of Que River Guides
- 3-Day Sculling Adventure -- River Breeze Rowing
- Great Fishing Spots Along the River
- The Susquehanna River, its history, and much more