Introducing a New Paddling Guidebook for the Susquehanna Confluence Area

Looking to get out on the Susquehanna River this year, but don’t know where to go? The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) is excited to announce the release of a new booklet showcasing paddling itineraries of the Susquehanna River Water Trail – Confluence Area.

 

The Susquehanna River Water Trail is a state-designated water trail for motorized and non-motorized on-water recreation. The new booklet showcases 5 paddling itineraries along the West Branch, Lower North Branch, and Middle Susquehanna sections of the Susquehanna River Water Trail. These three sections converge near Sunbury, PA at a region known as the ‘Confluence’ and offer a variety of landscapes and paddling experiences. 


Each itinerary features a unique paddle route along one of the three sections. Itineraries 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. 


“The interest in kayaking on the Susquehanna River has been on the rise for the past few years,” says SGP Executive Director Corey Ellison.

 

“With the onset of COVID-19 that interest grew exponentially, and we want to make sure that our area’s paddlers have access to the tools and resources needed to get outside and continue to explore the water trail.”


In addition to the itineraries, the booklet also provides an overview of the confluence region, plus general information on each branch of the Susquehanna River Water Trail, including an introduction on the experience of river island camping on the Middle Susquehanna.

 


SGP is partnering with the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau (SRVVB) and the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau (CMVB) to distribute the booklets. They will be available for free at either location.


“The Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau is thrilled to partner with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership in the production of their newly released Confluence Booklet that details river routes for avid paddlers,” explains SRVVB Director Andrew Miller. 


“With outdoor recreation reaching an all-time high in 2020, and with no signs of letting up this year, outdoor recreation in the Susquehanna River Valley will attract adventurers to enjoy our amenities and support local businesses with visitor spending. The Confluence Booklet is available at the perfect time for canoers and kayakers to make plans to explore the water trail routes in our region. The Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau will promote the Confluence Booklet online and in our Visitor Center to make trip planning easy for paddling enthusiasts.”


Geographically, the Susquehanna River Water Trail’s confluence is located where the 228-mile West Branch meets the 444-mile main stem of the Susquehanna River. The itineraries within this booklet extend from this point with two trips located on the West Branch in Union County, two up along the lower North Branch in Columbia and Montour counties, and one just below the confluence point on the Middle Susquehanna which borders Snyder and Northumberland counties.

For those new to paddling or those who need a refresher, the final page of the booklet outlines a paddling checklist to help jumpstart the planning process for any kayaking or canoeing excursion.

“The paddling checklist included within the booklet is an especially valuable tool to both new and experienced paddlers,” says Otto Kurecian, CMVB Executive Director.  

“Considering the recent influx of first-time paddlers looking to get outdoors, the new paddling guidebook produced by SGP will help people prepare not only for an enjoyable adventure on the river, but also a safe one. The inclusion of five pre-planned river itineraries will make it easy for paddlers to navigate the river.”

The Confluence Booklet is just the beginning of what SGP has to offer in 2021. 

On July 24, SGP is collaborating with Pennsylvania Master Naturalist on a new program designed to enhance your paddling skillset and develop your knowledge of river ecology. The Paddler’s Toolkit is a great opportunity for novice and veteran paddlers alike to expand their ‘Paddler’s Toolkit’ with new information and resources for their next paddling adventure. The workshop will be held at the Montour Preserve on July 24 with presentations in the morning and a paddle in the afternoon on Lake Chillisquaque. Registration is $35. For more information, visit susquehannagreenway.org/toolkit.

SGP is also looking forward to the release of our waterproof Susquehanna River Water Trail – West Branch Map & Guide. This highly anticipated resource has been undergoing a year-long update with expected release in July 2021. 

For a more guided group experience on the water trail, SGP is also hosting several paddling events this upcoming season. The first will be Susquehanna Float & Films on June 26, which offers participants a chance to kayak the river, watch the best of international paddling films, or both for a full day experience! Tickets range $12-28 and can be purchased here

The Confluence Area Booklet and other resources will be available for free at all SGP events throughout the 2021 season. To stay up-to-date on SGP’s events, visit susquehannagreenway.org/events, sign up for email announcements here, or follow Susquehanna Greenway on Facebook and Instagram.

You may also request a booklet by contacting either visitors bureau. For the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau, call 570-524-7234 or email info@visitcentralpa.org. For the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, click here.

The Susquehanna River Water Trail Confluence Area Paddling Itineraries Booklet was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program Environmental Stewardship Fund under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation administered through the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Pennsylvania Water Trails Partnership Mini Grant Program.
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