Susquehanna River from Source to Sea

Being the longest waterway in the northeast United States, the 460-mile Susquehanna River runs from the foothills of New York’s Catskill Mountains to Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Along the way it spills across all types of topography, giving paddlers a selection of conditions only found on long rivers. From soothing flat water to seething class III rapids, the Susquehanna delivers diversity.

With long-distance hiking and mountain climbing – the two sports I most often practice – being unappealing in November (the month when it is cold enough to freeze your butt off but when there is no snow to make it fun), long-distance canoeing seemed like a fine way to pass the month. Besides, once in my canoe I would be heading towards warmer climes, as one of my students put it, “like a bird.” As chilly as it really got though, my toes stayed warm and cozy in my Darn Tough Mountaineering Extra Cushion socks.

Below is a chronological photo journey from source to sea on the Susquehanna.

The source, tiny Crystal Spring. Springfield, NY.

The first of twelve dams on the Susquehanna. Cooperstown, NY.

Campsite and sunrise at 25 degrees. Milford, NY.

Pulled over to bail out five gallons of ice water after running a class III rapid (by accident). Mehoopany, PA.

View of rapids at dusk from our island campsite. Dauphin, PA.

Passing through downtown Harrisburg, PA.

Ramming speed into wave-piled garbage. Safe Harbor, PA.

Paddling partner calling to arrange portage around Holtwood Dam. Holtwood, PA.

Navigating a two-mile rocky section with receding tide. Port Deposit, MD.

End of the 460-mile, fifteen-day journey. Chesapeake Bay near Perryville, MD.

2 thoughts on “Susquehanna River from Source to Sea

  1. Goodyear Lake
    Be careful if you boat this area of the susquehanna !!
    A large number of boaters on this lake and the river are drunk and reckless.
    The sheriffs boat sits at the dock empty most of the summer while the drunk and reckless boaters run amok.

  2. I am planning this trip in Summer of 2015. Could I contact you to get some more details, I have canoed much of the river from Sunbury to the Bay. I am trying to find details on the upper reaches, from Cooperstown to Pittston.

    Any help or advice would be welcomed.

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