The Susquehanna is a river of astonishing variety. Wild and remote canyons connect to pastoral landscapes of agricultural productivity. But all along the way there are river towns, about seventy in all.
These towns exist because at some point in history the river was necessary for survival or economic advantage and often because of their strategic location with respect to transportation. Today as in the past, river towns are the most visible means of connection to the River that shapes our common heritage.
The Susquehanna Greenway provides options to journey throughout its diverse and varied landscape and riverscape, to enjoy scenery, and to enjoy past and present cultures and heritage in its diverse and authentic communities.
From historic downtowns and heritage festivals to riverfront parks and river town races, you'll be amazed at how much there is to discover in the Susquehanna river towns.
River Towns of the Upper North Branch
This stretch of the river is characterized by rolling meadows, forests, and crop land, set amidst seemingly endless mountains. Much of the area is with in the Endless Mountains Heritage Region and it offers abundant outdoor recreation. Classic Americana still flourishes in the small river towns of this region.
Sayre - SGP River Town
Athens - SGP River Town
Laceyville - SGP River Town
Tunkhannock - SGP River Town
River Towns of the Wyoming Valley
Shickshinny - SGP River Town
River Towns of the Middle Susquehanna
This is the area of Central Pennsylvania where the North and West branches of the Susquehanna River meet before flowing south towards the Chesapeake Bay. This is a predominantly rural area, notable for its river towns surrounded and separated by forested ridges and broad agricultural valleys. Otherwise rugged, isolated, and historically difficult to traverse, the Susquehanna River guided travel and settlement througout the region.
The towns served as the connection points and industrial hubs between local resources and distant markets. Varations in local industries therefore, played major roles in directing town growth and shaping town character. These variations, along with the character of the local landscape as well as different cultural backgrounds and mixes, combined to create the collection of distinct, independent, and authentic river towns that we find today.
Berwick - In the Process
Lewisburg - SGP River Town
Selinsgrove - SGP River Town
Curwensville - In the Process
Renovo, South Renovo, Noyes Township - SGP River Towns
Lock Haven - SGP River Town
Jersey Shore - SGP River Town
Williamsport - In the Process
Montgomery - SGP River Town
Muncy - In the Process
River Towns of the Capital Region
There are historic towns like Duncannon and Millersburg, which gave rest to horse-drawn travelers on their way from one side of Pennsylvania to the other. There’s the grandeur of the state capitol building in Harrisburg, only a few short blocks from the Susquehanna River. Communities like Camp Hill, New Cumberland, and Swatara Township offer their residents a suburban lifestyle with easy access to major highways and metropolitan worlds.
Just as it embodies a range of heritage and cultures, the Capitol Region combines forested woodland with well tended farmland, steep gorge-like ridges with winding river trails. There are renowned bird habitats, nationally recognized fishing opportunities, the Millersburg Ferry, and Three Mile Island. Linking it together ─ the communities, features, and styles of living ─ is the Susquehanna River, a vision of beauty and a source of recreation and history.
River Towns of the Lower Susquehanna
It’s a fertile place, where wineries dot the landscape and farmers, working the land near York and Lancaster, are rewarded for their efforts with the bounty of Autumn. It’s an historic place, home to Accomac Inn on the shores of the Susquehanna River, and the restored Whitmer Grist Mill, originally built in 1832. The Lower Region was once the site of Camp Security, ─ a prisoner-of-war camp that held captured British soldiers and their families in the late 18th Century.
Heritage is important here, where soldiers fought to create the Union, and then to save it. The Susquehanna is part of that heritage, so much so that communities actively present themselves as “river towns.”