Tag Archives: susquehanna river

Rivers Month in PA:  Come On In, the Water is Nice!

With summer starting and the weather getting hotter, many people in Pennsylvania head to rivers and streams to cool off and have fun. June is the perfect time to celebrate ‘Rivers Month’ in Pennsylvania! With over 86,000 miles of rivers and streams, Pennsylvania has plenty to offer. Whether you like boating, swimming, fishing, or just relaxing by the water, there’s something for everyone.

Paddlers prepare to hit the water on the Paddle Happy West Branch Susquehanna River trip!

Creating and Enhancing Access to our Waterways

Here in Northcentral PA, members of the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy (NPC) have been working hard to make it easier for people to enjoy these activities. Here are just a few of the conservation projects they’ve helped complete:

Baker Run

Conserving the Baker Run area created a new spot for canoeing or kayaking on the West Branch Susquehanna River. Baker Run flows into the Susquehanna River, between Lock Haven and Renovo. The stretch of the West Branch Susquehanna from Hyner to Woodward Township’s Park is about 21 miles long. Conserving this land and setting up the launch made it easier for people to paddle this section of the river.

The Baker Run Canoe Launch provides easy access to the West Branch Susquehanna River.

Byers Island

The Byers Island archipelago consists of six islands in the Susquehanna River. NPC members conserved this chain of islands in 2006 before helping to incorporate them into the Weiser State Forest. Today, paddlers can camp overnight on the islands at three basic campsites kept up by the Susquehanna River Trail Association.

Three primitive campsites are available for public use on Byers Island archipelago.

Harrigan Island

Harrigan Island is in the Susquehanna River near Athens. The original owners encouraged canoe travelers to camp on the island. To ensure others could enjoy this simple pleasure for years to come, they worked with NPC to conserve the land. Today, Harrigan Island is part of the Loyalsock State Forest and continues to be a popular stopover for paddlers!

A faint rainbow overtop of Harrigan Island.

Phelps Mills Canoe Access

For years, people used this site on the Avis side of the Route 150 Bridge over Pine Creek for paddling, fishing, and swimming. When the property was for sale and at risk of development, NPC bought and conserved it for the public. NPC also got grant funding to improve the walking path and parking area, making it easier for people to enjoy Pine Creek. The site is now part of the Tiadaghton State Forest.

The ribbon cutting ceremony unveils improvements at the Phelps Mills Canoe Access.

Conserving the Health of Our Rivers

Beyond recreation, healthy rivers provide habitat, drinking water, replenish groundwater, help moderate floods and droughts, support forest health, and more!

Stream health is important for river health because streams feed into rivers. Anything that enters a stream—like pollutants, nutrients, or sediment—will flow into larger rivers.

As part of the Northcentral Stream Partnership, NPC members are helping to conserve and strengthen the health of our rivers by stabilizing eroding streambanks and improving aquatic habitat on agriculturally impaired streams across the region.

In fact, the Partnership’s sustained efforts have been so successful that two streams in the Turtle Creek Watershed were recently removed, or “delisted,” from PA’s list of impaired waters. This shows that working together, we can make a difference in restoring the health of our rivers.