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June 28, 2024
Susquehanna River Recreation Guide
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180 Miles of Recreation on NEPA’s Longest River

The Susquehanna River, stretching 444 miles, is the longest river on the east coast. From its headwaters at Ostego Lake in Cooperstown, NY through Pennsylvania to the Chesapeake Bay, this mighty river also holds a claim as one of the oldest on the planet. Right here in NEPA, the Susquehanna’s North Branch covers roughly 180 miles, runs through 4 counties and offers a long list of recreational opportunities.

All along its winding route through NEPA, the Susquehanna River touches bustling boroughs and towns. It courses through ancient valleys and feeds countless acres of rich farmland. In the lower Wyoming Valley, the river passes directly through cities like Wilkes-Barre, Pittston and Nanticoke. And just before it connects with its West Branch and darts south toward Harrisburg, it rolls alongside Berwick and Bloomsburg.


A Rich History of River Recreation


Summer fly fishing on the Susquehanna River in Wyoming, PA.


From fishing to birding and everything in between

Fishing on the Susquehanna River is a rite of passage in many NEPA families. For centuries, generations have passed down their unique knowledge of the river. And it’s always a little more than just a secret spot or two.

You’ll find plenty of public fishing access along the river in NEPA. From public boat launch areas to dozens of riverside community parks, ensuring recreational access is an important part of NEPA’s relationship to the river. And throughout the region, countless outfitters and fishing guides welcome anglers, new and old, to enjoy the sport.


Kayaking via the Nesbit Park Boat Launch in Kingston, PA.


Boating Galore

Boating of all types is also a favorite pastime on the Susquehanna River. Every day, kayakers and rowers can be seen cutting through the currents. In the summer months, bass boats and jet boats skim across the surface enroute to that perfect shady overhang. In the river’s larger, deeper pools, you’ll occasionally see pontoon boats or jet skis. And often, the sandy shallows are filled with weekenders in their folding chairs seeking a cool reprieve from the summer sun.

Public boat launches and parks along the river offer easy access and plenty of parking. Some even feature picnic areas, trails, restroom facilities and more. Many of NEPA’s canoe and kayak outfitters and guides utilize these public access points as well. Additionally, many communities along the river host public events from spring through fall at their riverfront parks.

The Susquehanna River Is a Must-Visit

Outside of fishing, boating, hiking, picnicking and cooling off, the Susquehanna River is also an incredible place to view and photograph a multitude of plants and wildlife. Bird watchers and wildflower enthusiasts flock to the river in the spring and summer. Photographers and just plain old nature lovers jump at the chance to capture a bald eagle stalking the river’s tree line. The banks of the river are also a great place to let little ones become familiar with crayfish, frogs, turtles, mudbugs and all manner of crawling things.

For so many, the Susquehanna River is a place to learn, to grow, to connect with our varied, vast and ancient nature. It’s a resource for endless fun and recreation. Whether you’re into fishing, boating, hiking, or simply soaking up the serene beauty, the Susquehanna has something for everyone.

Ready to Explore?

If you’re in NEPA, you’re never far from the Susquehanna River’s breathtaking beauty and endless adventures. Read on to find out how you can discover, explore, and enjoy the Susquehanna River in your area!

Luzerne County

View across the Susquehanna River from Nesbit Park in Kingston, PA.


River Access, Boat Launches & Parks

The Susquehanna River courses through Luzerne County for roughly 45 miles. From Exeter Borough in the north through Pittston, Wilkes-Barre and Nanticoke and onto Nescopeck in the south, the river plays a role in dozens of communities. Kayaks, canoes, bass boats, shore fishing and wade fishing are popular river activities in Luzerne County. There are also quite a few riverfront trails for walking, running and biking.

Look for public access to the river at the following locations:

Historical Canal Park
Kirby Park
Nesbit Park
Pittston Riverfront Park
River Common

Public Boat launches
Appletree Rd. Boat Launch — 2073 PA-92, Pittston, PA
Hanover Twp. Boat Launch — Access via end of Delaney St., Wilkes-Barre, PA
Hunlock Twp. Boat launch – 68 Garden Dr., Hunlock Creek, PA
Nesbit Park Boat Launch — 65 Davis St., Kingston, PA
Shickshinny Public Boat Launch – S. Canal St., Shickshinny, PA

Wyoming County

Vosburg Neck State Park, Tunkhannock


River Access, Boat Launches & Parks

For about 40 miles, the Susquehanna River winds its way through Wyoming County in a series of dramatic bends and curves. It passes rich farmland in the rural plains and stunning, forested rock faces of the Endless Mountains. The river enters the county at Laceyville. It flows through Meshoppen, Mehoopany, and Tunkhannock before finally coursing through Falls. You’ll find plenty of activity along the river from fishing, floating, kayaking and power-boating.

Look for public access to the river at the following locations:

Donovan Park
Riverside Park
Vosburg Neck State Park

Public Boat Launches
Tunkhannock Park Boat Launch – Via Riverside Park – 112b River St, Tunkhannock, PA
Tunkhannock Boat Launch #2 – Runway Rd., Tunkhannock, PA
West Falls Access/Boat Launch – 493 River Rd., Falls, PA
Whites Ferry Access/Boat launch – 546 Keelersburg Rd. Tunkhannock, PA

Columbia County

Bloomsburg Rail Trail, Bloomsburg


River Access, Boat Launches & Parks

Columbia County sees just over 18 miles of the Susquehanna River as it rolls west from Berwick through Mifflinville, Bloomsburg and finally Catawissa. This stretch of river is punctuated by long swaths of green, forested riverbank, active rail lines and wide-open farmland. The towns dotting this section of river offer ample opportunity for recreation like fishing, boating, kayaking, hiking  and more.

Bloomsburg Town Park
Columbia Park
Streater Field
Susquehanna Riverlands
Test Track Park

Public Boat launches
Bloomsburg Access/Boat Ramp – 394 Airport Rd., Bloomsburg, PA
Test Track Park Access/Boat Launch – Ruhmels Ln., Berwick, PA

Susquehanna County

Launching for a river sojourn at the Oakland Access in Susquehanna, PA.


River Access, Boat Launches & Parks in Susquehanna County

The river makes its first appearance in Pennsylvania as it briefly dips into Susquehanna County. It enjoys a roughly 16-mile run through Susquehanna Borough, Oakland Twp., Hallstead and Great Bend before snaking back across the New York border. These largely rural towns embrace the river and its almost untouched scenery through a healthy recreational industry including boating, kayaking and canoeing and of course, plenty of great fishing.

Look for public access to the river at the following locations:

Ira Reynolds Riverfront Park

Public Boat launches
Oakland Access/Boat Launch – 28533 PA-92, Susquehanna, PA
Hallstead Access/Boat Launch – 44 State Rte. 1010, Hallstead, PA


*All public boat launches managed and maintained by PA Fish and Boat Commission.