The Susquehanna River makes a “Great Bend” in Susquehanna County on its way from New York to the Chesapeake Bay. This bend, while brief, is full of stunning landscapes with a hint of history. Begin your paddle at the PFBC Oakland access on the west side of the River. Here you will find gravel parking with a paved ramp access. To utilize this access, please note that all boats must be registered in PA including non-motorized boats that would not otherwise need registration. Enjoy the calm waters of the river as you paddle for a few miles until you reach the former location of the Oakland Dam, where you will encounter Class I rapids. There is an optional portage on river left to walk your boat around the rapids.
A few points of interest along and nearby this route include:
*RM 355.4 – Pennsylvania Scenic Byway
RM 355.4 – D&H Rail Trail, 38-mile trail on former Delaware and Hudson rail-bed that runs from NY State line south along river to Lanesboro, south to Forest City, and along Lackawanna River to Simpson.
RM 352.5 – Starrucca Viaduct, built in 1848 with local bluestone; it is the oldest bluestone railroad bridge still in use in the state.
RM 350.9 – Starrucca House, large brick train station.
RM 348.9 – Mormon Monument at the location where priesthood was conferred on Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints founder Joseph Smith.
RM 344.7 – Red Rock, Rock wall where Native American paintings once depicted General Clinton’s advance in 1779 to meet General Sullivan’s army at Tioga Point.
Camping: Overnight stop at RM 354.6; Cascade ‘Y’ primitive campsite.
*RM = River Mile
River Mile 354.4; PFBC Oakland Access
Amenities: Boat ramp & parking
River Mile 342.5; PFBC Hallstead Access
Amenities: Boat ramp & parking; near lodging, food, and facilities.
Class I rapids at the former Oakland Dam location around RM 350.5.
For Water Trail map, refer to Susquehanna River Water Trail, North Branch: Section 1