Paddling in the Beautiful Susquehanna River Valley

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For the boaters and water-lovers among us, the Susquehanna River Valley provides lakes, rivers and creeks for watery fun. Get on the water and see the valley in a whole new way. We promise you will be rejuvenated, re-energized, relaxed and inspired.


Paddling the Majestic Susquehanna River

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Visit the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership website for helpful information about the Susquehanna River Water Trails, boat routes suitable for canoes, kayaks and small motorized watercraft on the Susquehanna. Find access points, boat launches, day use sites and/or overnight camping sites for the boating public.

Susquehanna Greenway routes include Watsontown Borough to Lewisburg - 8.5 miles - An easy Susquehanna Greenway Water Trail follows the river from the PFBC launch just south of Watsontown to Lewisburg on a relaxing section of the river with no major hazards. Keep your eyes open for migrating water fowl and bald eagles. Milton State Park, the halfway point on this water trail, is perfect for a picnic lunch stop. You’ll find a wonderful boat launch, picnic areas, restrooms and a hiking trail along the river. Continue your leisurely paddle south to Lewisburg. Just past the Lewisburg Market Street bridge on the right is an easily accessed spot to get off the water.

Just north of the bridge, Bic's Watersports and Outdoor Adventures, operates a kayak/canoe rental business that provides transportation to designated drop-off locations on the Susquehanna so patrons can enjoy some relaxing time on the water. And when you return from your ride, relax on lounge chairs or hammocks located around on-site firepits.

Susquehanna Greenway’s 11-mile route from Milton State Park to Shikellamy State Park can be done as one trip or broken up into sections for less strenuous shorter trips. It is a fun way to experience the upper reaches of Lake Augusta and the confluence of the North & West Branches of the Susquehanna which you'll see at Shikellamy State Park.

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Request a free copy of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership's Susquehanna River Water Trail Confluence Area Paddling Itineraries booklet. The 5 itineraries within this booklet extend from the confluence of the west and north branches of the Susquehanna River near Sunbury PA. Each itinerary features a unique paddle route and include the length and estimated time for paddling the route, a map of the route, put-in and take-out locations, suggested area outfitters for kayak rentals, a difficulty rating, and trip highlights to look for along the way.

To request a guide, call 800-525-7320 or 570-524-7234 or email [email protected]  Guides can also be picked up at the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Center at 81 Hafer Rd. Lewisburg PA.

Kayak River Bridge

Shikellamy State Park Marina in Sunbury offers a boat launch, dockside spots and a boat rental concession at Lake Augusta. Shikellamy State Park features the longest inflatable dam in the world. The Adam T. Bower Dam is inflated each spring creating the three-thousand-acre Lake Augusta that extends six and a half miles up the north and west branches of the Susquehanna River and is a center of activity for boaters throughout the warmer months.

Spring Paddling Trips are Perfect on SRV Creeks

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Buffalo Creek
Buffalo Creek is an outstandingly beautiful paddle in the spring. Narrow, with a canopy of trees, the character of Buffalo Creek contrasts quite a bit with the more wide-open feel of paddling trips on the Susquehanna River. Because of low summer water levels, trips on Buffalo Creek are better in the spring season.
Not all sections of Buffalo Creek are navigable but three different sections are lovely and pass by historic mills and a covered bridge along the way.

The upper section of Buffalo Creek flows from Cowan to Mazeppa passing the historic Johnson Mill. The middle section runs from Mazeppa to Strawbridge Road and passes Grove’s Mill, the nation’s oldest gristmill still in operation. The lower portion of Buffalo Creek flows from Strawbridge Road to St. George St. in Lewisburg and passes the Hubler Covered Bridge near the U.S. Penitentiary.

Visit the website of the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance for a Buffalo Creek Water Trail Map between Cowan and Lewisburg. This helpful guide for canoers and kayakers provides watershed information and shows access points and portages.

Penns Creek
Penns Creek, well-known for its great trout fishing, is another option for enjoying some of the beautiful scenery of central Pennsylvania. It is a really fun paddle in the spring when wildlife begins to emerge and the trees and flowers are coming back to life. Stunning scenery, infrequent stage 2 to 3 rapids and an otherwise relatively calm stretch of a waterway provide natural views of wildlife, birds and waterfowl, woodland banks, rolling farm land, cottages and quaint country towns. Be aware of the start of trout season and give space to excited fishermen who have been anticipating fishing for months.

Serene Lake Paddling

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If you prefer the still waters of a lake, Montour Preserve boasts the 165-acre Lake Chillisquaque on the middle branch of Chillisquaque Creek. The name ‘Chillisquaque’ comes from the native American term meaning ‘song of the wild goose’ which is so appropriate as more than 50 species of waterfowl including mergansers, thunder swans, herons and snow geese can be observed during migration. The Preserve is a favorite local spot for kayaking. As you explore the coves, nooks and crannies of the lake, watch for a pair of nesting bald eagles.

Montour Area Recreation Commission now operates a boat rental concession and kayak kiosk at the lake.
Whether you’re looking for a canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, or other unpowered watercraft, the staff at the Riverside Adventure Company are ready to serve you during the boating season on Lake Chillisquaque. The Montour Preserve’s watercraft concessionaire’s season ends on October 31 when the boat dock and fishing pier are also removed.  Learn more about available options and book your rental now by calling (570) 849-3010 or by visiting: RAC Boat Rentals at Montour Preserve

Be aware that boating is not allowed annually between March 15 and April 30 and is also forbidden in Goose Cove year-round. Boating access to the lake is on the eastern side of the lake, at the Heron Cove Boat Access Area.

Plan time in your day at the lake for a picnic, a hike in the wooded trails around the lake or a visit to the fossil pit and be sure to stop in the nature center to see amazing exhibits about the fauna and flora of Central Pennsylvania as well as the history of the region.

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Walker and Faylor lakes in Snyder County provide excellent boating (self-powered & electric motors only) and fishing and are home to numerous species of warm water fish, turtles, migratory birds, songbirds and frogs.

Paddling (and cold-water fishing) are also popular at R. B. Winter State Park’s Half-way Lake in Union County.

Click here for more information about Susquehanna River Valley Lakes

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Boating at Weiser State Forest in Northumberland County is permitted for electric motors and non-motorized boats on two of the three reservoirs on the Roaring Creek tract; the 184-acre McWilliams’ Reservoir and the 31-acre Kline’s Reservoir.

A short hike is required to access the Kline’s reservoir. The portage to McWilliams’ Reservoir is approximately two miles.

A limited number of boat mooring spaces are available at the Roaring Creek tract. For more information and to apply for a space, see the Weiser State Forest Lottery Application for Mooring Space (PDF).

Paddling Safety Checklist from the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership

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For a thorough description of paddling in Pennsylvania, get a copy of Keystone Canoeing by Ed Gertler available at the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau. Waterproof maps are also available in the retail store located at the visitors center.

Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau
81 Hafer Rd.
Lewisburg PA 17837
[email protected]