The North Branch of the Susquehanna River has been named River of the Year 2023

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (WHTM) — The North Branch of the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania has been voted the state’s 2023 River of the Year. The announcement was made by Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Cindy Adams Dunn and Janet Sweeney of Pennsylvania Waterways and Rivers (POWR) today, January 25.

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The North Branch of the Susquehanna River begins in New York. Entering Pennsylvania, it merges with the Chemong River at Tioga Point (Athens). In Sunbury, near Shikellamy State Park, it meets the Susquehanna River West Branch. Along the way, it meanders through eight Pennsylvania counties—Susquehanna, Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, and Northumberland.

“Through the planned River of the Year celebrations, public awareness of the value of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River will be raised and major initiatives along that section of the river will be emphasized,” Dunn said. “The economic revitalization of the river town communities will enhance access to the river; increase tourism and provide additional recreational opportunities based on land and water for local residents and visitors alike.”

The North Branch of the Susquehanna River benefits greatly from anglers, recreational boaters, and wildlife enthusiasts. In most places, the river is calm, giving boaters and canoeists a place to exercise. or boaters of all experience levels, the river has many natural and historical sites to explore. Those historic sites earned the water trail a “National Recreation Trail” designation by the National Park Service in 2009, as part of a larger Captain John Smith National Historic Trail The system, which commemorates the exchange of goods and cultures between early settlers and indigenous peoples of the Susquehanna River Basin and Chesapeake Bay.

Four Waterways were nominated for River of the Year, and the public voted for the winner online. A total of 11,438 votes were cast, with the North Branch Susquehanna River receiving 4,098; the Perkiomen Creek 3110; Conestoga River 2490; and the Schuylkill River 1740.

the Infinite Mountains Heritage Areawho nominated the North Branch of the Susquehanna River, will receive a $10,000 leadership grant to help fund a slate of 2023 River of the Year activities throughout the year.

said Ken Chamberlain, executive director of the Endless Mountains Heritage District. “We have a range of river paddle boarding and stays planned for this year as well as other outdoor recreation related events that will blend perfectly with our waterway management. We are committed to educating the public about paddling safety and encouraging everyone to be responsible stewards of the Susquehanna and its bountiful tributaries.”