Crash Course! Brush Up On Your Greenway Trail Lingo

What is the Susquehanna Greenway anyway? Not sure? Check out our Greenway lingo list to find out! Whether you’re exploring a river town, paddling the river, or hitting the trails, our guide has the jargon, abbreviations, phrases, slang, and lexicon you need to become a Greenway guru.

444 club – Includes anyone who has paddled the entire 444 miles of the Susquehanna River Water Trail - Main Stem (SRWT), from Cooperstown, NY, to Havre de Grace, MD. You Go! 

Bonus steps/miles (noun)– These are all the extra steps (or miles if you are ambitious) put in that were not on the trail, such as walking to and from a trail access points, venturing on connector trails to see an exceptional view of the Susquehanna, side trips to explore river towns, or the inevitable navigational mishaps.

Glonk (noun)– A clueless person who just bulldozes down a hill and doesn't realize that uphill hikers have the right of way. Don’t be a glonk; yield to uphill traffic.

Great Bend (noun) – A section of Susquehanna where the river dips into Pennsylvania for a short time in Susquehanna County before returning to New York and making its way further West. A region full of history and scenic vistas for travelers and paddlers alike.

GORP (noun)– Good Ole Raisins & Peanuts, or trail mix.

Greenway (noun)– A cross between a Greenspace and a Parkway; it consists of a corridor of protected land and water for the movement of both people and animals.

Hellbender (noun)– one of the largest salamanders in North America and a native to the Susquehanna River and her tributaries. 

Hiker Funk (noun) – This obnoxious smell is the result of a unique combination of excessive sweat, good ole’ dirt and grim, and the pride you feel at the end of the day from having completed a section of the trail with scant regard for personal hygiene.

LNT (acronym)– Leave No Trace! A series of seven principles designed to assist hikers and campers think about ways their can minimize their impact on the natural environment.

Lower Susquehanna – A stretch of the Susquehanna that flows from Harrisburg, PA to the Mason-Dixon Line at the Pennsylvania-Maryland border; managed by the Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area.

Middle Susquehanna – A stretch of the river that runs from Sunbury, PA to Harrisburg, PA; managed by the Susquehanna River Trail Association. Fun fact: this is the only section of river with free island camping sites.

North Branch – The 181 miles of the Susquehanna River from the NY state line to Northumberland PA; it includes the Great Bend in Susquehanna County. This section of the water trail is jointly managed by Endless Mountains Heritage Region and the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership.

On your Left! – A phrase that is often shouted to pedestrians and slow cyclists when passing on the trail. Phrase can be accompanied by a bell and is often uttered more than once in quick succession.

Power walkers (noun) – Really fit individuals who are walking on a mission; you hate them, but you still secretly want to be them. Those hips don’t lie!

Shuttling (verb)– the fine art of dropping off and staging equipment/vehicles at trailheads or river access points in order to undertake a one-way adventure.

Susquehanna Greenway – a network of land trails, parks, river accesses, and communities that runs along both sides of the Susquehanna River within Pennsylvania. It includes everything within 1-3 miles of the river, depending on geography.

Susquehanna Greenway River Town – Susquehanna Greenway River Towns are communities who have undertaken the SGP River Town program to envision, prioritize, and implement community-led projects that reconnect residents back to the Susquehanna River, create trails and river accesses, and interpret the community’s natural and cultural assets.

Trail candy (noun) – Eye candy, but on the trail; also called an attractive hiker.

Ticks (noun) – small parasitic insects, a.k.a. little septic tanks, that can carry Lyme disease and other illnesses. Best friends are mosquitos, leeches, and that one friend who sleeps on your couch a little too long during the holidays.

Vortex (noun) – Anything off trail that draws hikers into it and hikers find difficult to leave; can include scenic overlooks or town stops.

West Branch A 228-mile stretch of the Susquehanna River from Cherry Tree to Sunbury; the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is the water trail manager for this section.


Want to test your lingo out on the Greenway? Find trails, parks, and river towns on our Plan Your Visit page. 

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Did we miss any? Send us an email and we will add your trail lingo to our list.