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Celebrate National Rivers Month with NEPA’s Amazing Rivers image
June 06, 2024
Celebrate National Rivers Month with NEPA’s Amazing Rivers
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DiscoverNEPA is partnering with Pennsylvania Environmental Council, a nonprofit that protects and restores the natural and built environments to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians. Keep an eye on this series for updates on PEC projects, volunteer opportunities, Tail on the Trail activities and so much more.

Get to Know NEPA’s 5 Major Rivers this Summer With Pennsylvania Environmental Council

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here – summer has returned to Northeastern Pennsylvania! June brings long days, warm nights, radiant sunlight, and plenty of opportunities to cool off in the 86,000 miles of rivers and streams in the state in celebration of National Rivers Month!


Photo courtesy of Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority.


Healthy rivers play a vital role by providing habitats, drinking water, replenishing groundwater, regulating floods and droughts, supporting forest vitality, and they provide a unique outdoor recreation opportunity for millions of Pennsylvanians annually. Whether your interests lie in boating, swimming, fishing, or unwinding by the water’s edge, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Learn more about the NEPA’s five major rivers and the experiences you can take advantage of this summer!


Delaware River



Carving out the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey is the peaceful and historic Delaware River. One of America’s first Wild and Scenic Rivers, the Delaware is a local favorite for outdoor recreation. In NEPA, the Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River is a perfect spot to experience both the calmness of the river and the excitement of fast currents with steep drop offs. Down river, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area offers additional paddling experiences as well as an opportunity to see the River from a different vantage point along one of the many trails within the National Park site.

If you are interested in planning an adventure on the Delaware, Edge of the Woods Outfitters and Northeast Wilderness Experience offer river trips for visitors of varying experience levels all summer long. The 29th annual Delaware River Sojourn will be held from June 15th-22nd with a river clean up scheduled for June 14th and is a great opportunity to celebrate the river with hundreds of other enthusiastic paddlers! The Upper Delaware is also offering a unique opportunity this year – the 2024 Upper Delaware BioBlitz!


Lackawanna River


Photo courtesy of Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority.


The cool, dark waters of the 42-mile-long Lackawanna River offer a serene and tranquil river experience that is perfect for someone looking to get out on the water on their own or with a small group of friends. The Lackawanna is a tributary of the Susquehanna River.

Ongoing projects led by the Lackawanna River Conservation Association and the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority have created new and accessible paddling, hiking, and fishing opportunities along the river. The organizations also host the annual Riverfest event at Sweeney’s beach on September 21, which offers visitors fun experiences and activities to highlight the beauty of the Lackawanna River.


Lackawaxen River


Photo courtesy of PA DCNR.


The 31.3-mile Lackawaxen River is a tributary of the Delaware River and offers paddlers a chance to navigate varying water conditions from technical rapids to still pools. The scenery along the river demonstrates the beauty and peacefulness of the most rural sections of the Pocono Mountains.

Thanks to the hard work of the Wayne & Pike Trails & Waterways Alliance, several ongoing projects along the Lackawaxen River Trails have enhanced outdoor recreation in the Wayne & Pike County region. This includes the development of a trail along the river, fishing spots, and a new non-motorized access point at White Mills River Access Park.  For the first time this year, the organization is also hosting a River Sojourn on October 12th and 13th from Honesdale to Hawley and then from Hawley to Lackawaxen.


Lehigh River



Another tributary of the Delaware River, the Lehigh River Water Trail joins the urban and rural essence of the Pocono Mountains and demonstrates the region’s diverse ecosystems and communities.

The Lehigh River is perfect for a range of experience levels, with some sections home to quiet pools that can be lazily paddled in canoes or kayaks, and others offering heart-pounding rapids that are perfect for your first or tenth white-water rafting adventure! Pocono Whitewater and Whitewater Challengers are the major outfitters that service the Pocono Region, and both offer trips for different skill levels. Annually, the Wildlands Conservancy offers a 4-day river sojourn on June 8th-11th for visitors to taste the range of activities that can be experienced on this River.  This region of the Lehigh River also travels through several state parks and flows along sections of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor.


Susquehanna River



One of the oldest existing river systems in the entire world, and a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, the Susquehanna River supports ecosystems, recreation opportunities, and historic studies in Northeastern Pennsylvania. There are 3 outfitters that provide recreation opportunities all summer along the North Branch of the Susquehanna River – Endless Mountains Outfitters, Susquehanna Canoe & Kayak Rentals, and Five Mountain Outfitters, and plenty of opportunities to celebrate the river! The Endless Mountains Heritage Region hosts the annual Susquehanna North Branch Sojourn, held on June 6th-10th this year, and guides visitors through 63 miles of the river over the four-day event.

In Wilkes-Barre, RiverFest weekend features a long list of activities including a featured screening of the Agnes Documentary on Friday, June 21st at the River Common, a fun-filled day of family friendly activities in Nesbitt Park on June 22nd, and several paddling opportunities all weekend long! Throughout the summer, you can also celebrate the river at the Rockin’ the River concerts, a series of three free concerts along the Susquehanna River, or morning yoga at Millennium Circle with the Riverfront Yoga Project.

‘Water’ you doing to celebrate National Rivers Month?  Share with us on social media by using #GetYourTailontheTrail in your post!