Introducing the West Branch Paddle Club
Attention paddlers—kayakers, canoers, SUPers, and more! There’s a new incentive to grab your kayak and get out on the Greenway to explore the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) is excited to launch the West Branch Paddle Club: a program that provides resources and celebrates paddlers of all ages and ability levels for their exploration of the Susquehanna River Water Trail – West Branch (West Branch).
Whether you’re a day paddler, a seasoned, multi-day adventurer, or just really love the West Branch, the West Branch Paddle Club (WBPC) offers a variety of opportunities to join a community of like-minded paddlers who enjoy paddling, value the West Branch of the river, and want to give back and help grow the network.
Get Involved With the WBPC
Paddlers who report their trip(s) along one or more of the four segments of the West Branch. These journeys can be reported online to SGP through our website susquehannagreenway.org/wbpc to earn keepsake pins and special discounts on membership. There are no date restrictions on reporting paddling trips, so recent and past trips qualify. Segment Paddlers are encouraged to provide supporting materials to assist SGP in verifying your journey; these can include pictures, testimonials, blog posts, etc.
General Supporters are paddlers, friends of the West Branch, or members of the community who want to support SGP’s ongoing projects to improve and grow the West Branch Water Trail. Supporters do not have to report segments and can instead join the club through the purchase of individual or family memberships. Funds from supporters are utilized to improve safety, install signage, work with communities to build new launches, and more.
The four segments were chosen based on river mileage and available river accesses along the trail:
- Segment 1: Cherry Tree traverses 54 miles from Cherry Tree to Clearfield and is represented by a Cherry Tree icon to mark the starting point of the trail.
- Segment 2: Wilds meanders 76 miles from Clearfield to Renovo, making up the longest and most remote segment of the trail, and is represented by an Elk icon to indicate the wild elk herds unique to the region.
- Segment 3: Hyner flows 43 miles from Renovo to Jersey Shore and is represented by a Hang Glider icon in recognition of the hang gliders that paddlers often see as they pass Hyner View State Park.
- Segment 4: River Towns winds 55 miles from Jersey Shore to Northumberland and is represented by a River Town icon to recognize the abundance of SGP designated river towns along this segment.
With the successful completion of each segment, paddlers can then apply to become segment finishers within the WBPC. Successful applicants receive a soft enamel pin of the segment’s icon to be displayed on life jackets, hats, or at home, an official WBPC sticker, and are recognized in the WBPC newsletter and on the SGP website.
Segment finishers are also given the opportunity to purchase a discounted $15 one-year membership to the club or a discounted $35 one-year family membership (up to 4 people). Membership benefits include discounts on SGP events, an annual WBPC newsletter, and the knowledge of having supported the West Branch Susquehanna Water Trail.
For the non-paddlers who just want to support the West Branch Water Trail, a regular $25 one-year membership to the WBPC is also available, as well as a regular $45 one-year family membership, and additional levels of membership for organizations and businesses.
All proceeds from the WBPC go to supporting SGP’s work along the Water Trail. SGP works with local and state agencies to monitor the trail, maintain access and launch sites, create new boat launches in partnership with municipalities, improve safety along the trail, create maps and guides, and compile outreach materials to promote the water trail across the state.
“This work is all geared towards engaging people with a wonderful resource that exists right in their backyard,” says Jajko. “Our goal is to connect people with the river and the world-class opportunities for outdoor recreation that can be experienced along it.”
SGP has also been working to update the 2004 West Branch Susquehanna River Water Trail map. After conducting a water trail access and launch inventory, SGP has compiled this information to update and inform the public of access points, amenities, hazards, points of interest, and more. SGP anticipates the release of the new map in 2021.
Stay up to date on SGP initiatives by following Susquehanna Greenway on social media or signing up for newsletters.
The Susquehanna River Water Trail – West Branch is a designated Pennsylvania State Water Trail that runs 228 miles from Cherry Tree to Northumberland, as well as a National Water Trail via the National Park Service from Lock Haven to Northumberland.