The Susquehanna Greenway is a 500-mile corridor of parks, trails, and communities along the Susquehanna River and within Pennsylvania.
Working towards this corridor, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership aims to facilitate the connections between these entities so that one day, the public can walk, bike, or paddle from town to town along the river. But, what is a greenway anyway? Continue reading to find out!
What is a Greenway?
To break it down into parts, a greenway is a corridor of undeveloped land [a GREENspace] that is often located near an urban area and utilized to connect people and places, similar to our road system [a parkWAY], minus the cars.
In short, greenways are corridors of undeveloped land recognized for their ability to connect people and places. These ribbons of greenspace include parks, trails, gardens, historic sites, and natural features. They are sometimes located along man-made structures like an old railroad bed or a utility corridor, or they can trace a natural feature such as a ridgeline, stream, or in our case, the Susquehanna River.
In addition to fostering the preservation of these important features, greenways also provide easily accessible opportunities for people to enjoy the outdoors and walk, bike, or paddle from town to town, thus making active, healthy living much simpler. Greenways also play a role in supporting economic development and preserving our local history and culture by increasing property values, tourism, and recreation-related spending.
Greenways improve health through opportunities for active living with outdoor recreation.
Greenways preserve critical open space that provides a natural buffer zone to protect rivers and streams and also serve as a natural floodplain to help mitigate damage.
Residential properties will realize a greater gain in value the closer they are located to the trails and open space of a Greenway.
Trails and greenways create opportunities in construction and maintenance, recreation rentals (such as bicycles, kayaks, and canoes), lessons, recreation services (such as shuttle buses and guided tours), historic preservation, restaurants and lodging, special events, and other related businesses.
The Susquehanna Greenway corridor includes the river itself as well as the parks, trails, and communities that line the river’s banks.
Since it is governed by the geography of the river valley and its surrounding landscape. the Susquehanna Greenway’s borders vary as it progresses along the river, expanding and narrowing based on changes in the topography and viewshed. The result is a billowing pathway extending anywhere from one to three miles on either side of the river. A good rule of thumb is: If you can see the river, you’re in the Susquehanna Greenway.
The Susquehanna Greenway encompasses the entire length of the Susquehanna River as it flows within Pennsylvania, including the West Branch. Once completed, the Susquehanna Greenway will become the largest greenway in Pennsylvania, linking natural, cultural, historic, and recreational resources along the 500-mile corridor.
Next time you are out enjoying the parks, trails, and communities along the Susquehanna River, take pride in knowing that the resources right in your backyard are also part of a larger Susquehanna Greenway network.