The Susquehanna River makes a great bend on its way from Cooperstown, NY to the Chesapeake Bay, dipping into Pennsylvania for the first time in Susquehanna County. Rt. 92, Rt. 171 and SR 1033 follow the river through the Tri Borough Area of Susquehanna Depot, Lanesboro and Oakland Boroughs and through the Great Bend-Hallstead area, where Interstate 81 crosses the river. Full of history — and a hint of mystery — these upper reaches are attractive and accessible to canoeists, kayakers and fishermen, and provide a scenic vista for travelers.
The Ermine, a 19th century steamboat, at Lanesboro… In the background, a train crosses the Starrucca Viaduct.
Photo Courtesy Susquehanna County Historical Society.
Boaters must portage around the hydro-electric plant below Veterans Memorial Bridge in Susquehanna Depot.
SR 171 and the Norfolk Southern Railroad both follow the Susquehanna River. General Clinton traveled down the North Branch from Cooperstown, NY to Tioga Point, Bradford County, PA to join forces General John Sullivan for an incursion into the Iroquois nation during the Revolutionary War
There are several launching points for traveling on the river, including this Fish and Boat Commission Boat Launch on Route 92, Oakland Township. Other access points include an undeveloped access on PA Game Lands #25 off SR 1010, Great Bend Township. The river is rich in Bass, Walleye, Muskies and other species of fish. Wildlife along the river includes a Great Heron rookery, White-Tail Deer and Pennsylvania Black Bear.
The Route 11 Bridge between Hallstead and Great Bend is now being replaced with a 21st century concrete structure
Interstate 81 also crosses the Susquehanna River between Great Bend and Hallstead.
The Mormon Monument, SR 171, Oakland Township commemorates the baptism of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, and Oliver Cowdry in the nearby Susquehanna River.