Grab your cameras and #GetOutontheGreenway! We’re in the midst of our 10th Annual Photo Contest. Couple that with the beautiful weather along the Susquehanna and there’s no denying any excuse to get outside and take some photos. Not sure where to start? Here are some favorite spots in the Susquehanna Greenway perfect for any photo excursion.
Marie Antoinette Overlook
Bradford County – Set 500 feet above the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, the Marie Antoinette Overlook offers sweeping views of a valley with historical significance. The land below, today known as Asylum Township, became home to French aristocrat refugees who had fled from the French Revolution in 1793. The French Azilum Historic Site and the LaPorte House Museum can be seen from the Overlook. Before colonial settlement, the area was originally named “The Meadows” by the Iroquois who inhabited the land.
photo by Rick Hiduk
Luzerne County – Located along the eastern bank of the Susquehanna River in Wilkes-Barre, PA, the River Commons park is host to a 750 person amphitheater, paved walkways, gardens, ornamental trees, a grand common and seating area, a fishing pier, and two grand gateways connecting the city to the River. This beautiful riverfront is a great spot for snapping photos of sunsets, recreationalists, and events held at the unique outdoor amphitheater. The River Commons also connects with the 12-mile Luzerne County Levee Trail for further exploration along the North Branch Susquehanna River.
photo by Rick Hiduk
Columbia & Luzerne County – The 12.3-mile Susquehanna Warrior Trail trail runs alongside the Susquehanna River from Berwick to Nanticoke, tracing the corridor of the old Delaware, Lehigh, and Western railroad beds. It’s a great trail for snowshoeing and cross-coutry skiing in the wintertime, walking, running, and biking in the warmer months, and photography year-round! You never know what you’ll see along the trail. The trail ends at the Garden Drive-In, one of the country’s few remaining drive-in movie theaters.
Photo by Dan Shane
Clinton County – This scenic vista is sure to take your photography to new heights. Hyner View State Park showcases a vast expanse of the valley both along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River and surrounding mountains. It is a favorite spot for hang gliders with a ramp just below the lookout point for launching out over the river valley. The park also has a picnic area, parking, and restrooms, and is surrounded by Sproul State Forest.
Photo by Dan Shane
Lycoming County – This 20-acre recreational area outside of Williamsport is located right along the quiet, tree-lined shores of the West Branch of the Susquehanna and offers numerous opportunities to photograph beautiful riverside scenery and the occasional native wildlife. The park is also home to the Hiawatha Paddlewheel Riverboat, which offers a unique way to experience the Susquehanna.
Photo by Donald Justice
Northumberland County – How about a little island adventure? Milton State Park is an 82-acre island located on the Susquehanna River’s West Branch. Ideal for walking, biking, or picnicking, the park has a network of trails around the island. As you explore, you’ll find it’s a great place to have a camera handy with unique river views at unexpected turns as well as the local wildlife.
Union & Northumberland Counties – Located at the confluence of the West Branch and North Branch of the Susquehanna River, Shikellamy State Park is divided into two main sections: (1) the Overlook on the western shore of the West Branch, and (2) a Marina on the southern portion of Packer’s Island on the North Branch. Covering 132 acres, the park features a nature trail and overlook with stunning views of the river as well as boating, walking, and biking opportunities. Get your timing right and you can visually see the blue waters of the West Branch and darker waters of the North Branch merging at the confluence. Shikellamy is also home to Lake Augusta, a seasonal lake that is a popular rowing site during the warmer months.
photo by Charisse Baldoria
Snyder County – The Isle of Que is a long narrow peninsula on the outskirts of Selinsgrove, PA, about a half-mile wide and five and a half miles long. Not only is it a beautiful spot to walk or bike and admire beautiful waterside houses along the Susquehanna River, but it is also home to a public landing with picnic facilities, seasonal restrooms, and a boat launch to explore the area by canoe or kayak. Native Americans considered the southernmost tip to be sacred land, and though it is now mostly farmland, the tip of the Isle was once an Indian burial ground.
Photo by Rita Kurtz
Dauphin County – If any place could capture the essence of the Middle Susquehanna River, it would be Millersburg Riverfront Park. Keep your camera handy as you walk along the park’s riverside path, past bench swings and greenery, all the way to the iconic swinging bridge at the far end of the park. As you look out over the river, you’ll see some islands and the famous Millersburg Ferry, which is believed to be the last wooden double stern-wheel paddle boat operating in the United States.
Dauphin County – The Susquehanna River has a rich railroad heritage, and the Rockville Bridge of Dauphin County is one of the most renowned railroad bridges that crosses the river. Completed in in the year 1902, the Rockville Bridge was, and remains, the longest stone masonry arch railroad viaduct in the world. Today the bridge can be admired from either side of the river and remains active with multiple train crossings every day. Other nearby attractions include the Fort Hunter Mansion and Park on the Susquehanna’s east bank, and the Dauphin Narrows Statue of Liberty just upriver. Photo ops abound!
Photo by Christoph Esposito
Lancaster County – Chickies Rock Overlook Trail follows an old trolley line route to a 100-foot rock outcrop overlooking the Susquehanna River. The short hike ends with a stunning vista from which you can see the river, a railroad line, and rural landscapes in the distance. To extend your trail excursion, you can also hop on the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail, which is popular for walking and biking along the river and through river town communities like Columbia, Marietta, and Bainbridge.
Photo by Adam Hoke
Lancaster County – Managed by Susquehannock State Park in Holtwood, PA, The Pinnacle Overlook offers beautiful views of the Susquehanna River’s Lake Aldred. Though the view is breathtaking any time of day, sunsets are a prime time for photos since the vista faces west. From the overlook, visitors can also access the Kelly’s Run Trail System of the Lancaster County Conservancy and the Conestoga Trail System maintained by the Lancaster Hiking Club. Other nearby attractions include Hawk Point and the Holtwood Bridge.
Susquehanna Island Rookeries
Lower Susquehanna – The Susquehanna River is habitat to many bird species like the Great Egret or the Blue Crowned Heron pictured above. The islands of the Susquehanna serve as nesting grounds to some of these species, making them great locations for wildlife photography. Wade Island Rookery, for example, is Pennsylvania’s largest multi-species nesting island. Since the island is protected, access is not permitted, but photography is still allowed from boats on the river and the nearby shore. Other popular birding islands include McCormick Island in Harrisburg, PA, and Brunner Island further south.
Photo by John Renard; Blue crowned Heron perched on a stump; Brunner Island