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The Susquehanna River moves through upstate New York into Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland. The river’s North Branch is born from the Otsego Lake outlet in Cooperstown, also in New York State. At more than 400 miles in length, the Susquehanna is the American East Coast’s longest river as well as one of the top 20 in the country. The water is shallow and broad, with both branches merging at the Susquehanna River Valley close to Northumberland.
The North branch of the Susquehanna River rises as Otsego Lake’s outlet in Cooperstown, New York. It flows west/southwest via dairy country where it assumes Unadilla River at the Chenango and Sidney in the core of Binghamton. From here, it collects the Chemung at Athens Township, Pennsylvania from the northwestern end, curving right between Towanda and Sayre, than slices through in the Allgheny Plateau between the Endless Mountains. The Susquehanna receives Scranton’s Lackawanna River before veering southwest into northeast Pennsylvania. Penn’s Creek joins Susquehanna near Mahantongo Mountain’s west end before moving swiftly through Harrisburg’s downtown core and turning swiftly southeast along Pennsylvania’s south central region. Just 29 miles northeast of Baltimore, Maryland, the river joins with Octoraro Creek and enters Chesapeake Bay at the north end near Concord Point Light.
Wildlife watching, fishing, boating, and camping are a few of many activities enjoyed along the banks of, and in, this great river. One of the best places of all to explore the river is via Susquehanna State Park in the state of Maryland. Facilities are well maintained, providing a base from which to enjoy fun and varied trips. Onsite at the park there are boat launches, hiking trails, marked canoe trails, and plenty of excellent fishing, especially in spring and fall. The park also has pavilions, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Horse lovers can take advantage of the well groomed riding trails while the more adventurous can use archery and bow hunting areas. Camping along the river at one of 23 campsites kept by the Susquehanna River Trail Association is the perfect way to extend an outdoor experience. They are found along the river between Harrisburg and Sunbury. This stretch of wilderness is best explored by kayak and canoe or fishing boat.
There are myriad attractions to explore within the Susquehanna River Valley. The valley itself brings with it a sense of tranquility with a pace much less hurried. In the valley, a horse and buggy is a common sight as are market fresh farmer’s markets and roadside stands. Annual heritage and harvest festivals are also common attractions throughout the year. Some of the most popular historical attractions along the Susquehanna River include the National Historic Chemical Landmark Joseph Priestley House where Priestley’s ideas as an educator, philosopher, and theologian are honored. The Northumberland County Historical Society, The Buggy Museum, and the Transportation Museum are similar attractions. Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, The Children’s Museum, Knoebel’s Amusement Resort offer more things to do in the valley.
There is simply no lack of accommodation styles available along the Susquehanna River. More than a dozen bed and breakfasts, rental cottage and house, farm vacations, campground, hotels and motels create a long list of options. When making reservations, there are several dates that need planning long in advance for they are the busiest in the area for both Susquehanna and Bucknel universities; Homecoming at September’s end, Family Weekend in November, and May’s Commencement.
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