Recreation and Public Access

July 3, 2017

Upper Watershed Recreation and Public Access Priority: Continuity in water trails, maps, and signage.

The Upper Susquehanna is a largely untapped resource for recreation and tourism, particularly in New York where trail maps are outdated and signage visible from the river is lacking. Furthermore, large distances between public river access sites, overnight camping sites, and the presence of unmarked, derelict dams present a barrier for thru-padding this section of the river.

  • Identify and prioritize gaps in public river access and overnight camping.
  • Improve trail connectivity by developing uniform water and land trail maps and signage, as well as virtual access to trip planning information that spans the NY–PA border.
  • Establish and communicate the connection of the Susquehanna to the Chesapeake Bay by removing or portaging physical barriers, celebrating thru-paddlers in the “444-Club,” and developing Bay-related messaging on signage and at river-related events.

Middle Watershed Recreation and Public Access Priority: Foster nature-based economic and community development.

For more than two decades, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has invested millions of dollars to mitigate environmental impacts of abandoned mines and reduce agricultural and stormwater pollution into nearby streams. Improved water quality in this region provides a unique opportunity to encourage river use through a connected network of greenways and riverfront communities.

  • Encourage the development and use of land and water trails, greenways, and scenic by-ways that connect communities through recreation.
  • Connect riverfront communities through a series of cohesive outdoor spaces and coordinated river-related events.

Lower Watershed Recreation and Public Access Priority: The region is a cultural and heritage tourism destination providing a diversity of experiences.

The “Lower Susquehanna” is one of the most culturally and historically significant regions in the eastern United States. This region’s residents want to capitalize on its easy access from major transportation corridors to develop resource-based tourism.

  • Carry out an assessment of the economic benefits of cultural heritage tourism to riverfront communities.
  • Connect communities along the river physically with greenways and trails and contextually with consistent interpretive messaging for a cohesive visitor experience.
  • Support local visitor contact centers with locally relevant interpretative materials.