The Susquehanna River was one of four water trails designated as new historic connecting components of the existing Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced today. The historic connecting trail designation will facilitate future access improvements and expand tourism opportunities on the river.
This designation recognizes the significance of the four rivers to the history, cultural heritage and natural resources of the 3,000-mile-long national historic trail in the Chesapeake Bay.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Designating the Susquehanna River as a connecting trail to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail will offer enhanced outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities for residents and New York visitors. As a headwater state of the Chesapeake Bay, DEC is pleased that this designation will support conservation, stewardship, recreation and tourism within the state and the larger Bay watershed.”
The designation of trail components enables the National Park Service to work closely with state and local agencies and other partners – notably conservation and tribal organizations – to provide technical and financial assistance, resource management, facility enhancement, interpretive trail route marking and promotion along the connecting trails.
The other newly designated water trails are the Chester, Upper Nanticoke and Upper James rivers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.
Designation of New York’s portion of the connecting trail was initiated by the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, which is an important local partner made up of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the Southern Tier and northern Pennsylvania, DEC and the Office of General Services. DEC’s support was led by members of its Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program.
OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, “The new trail will continue the long-standing public use of this property. We are pleased that the Susquehanna Connecting Trail will establish a permanent link to this historic national route and keep it accessible to the public.”
USC Watershed Coordinator Jim Curatolo said, “We think water trails are a great way for our watershed residents to see the river first-hand and give them a sense of place and connection with their watershed and the Chesapeake Bay.”
The Susquehanna River connecting trail is a 552-mile system of water trails along the Susquehanna River in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland that begins at the headwaters of the Susquehanna River in Cooperstown. The southern end of the trail links directly with the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail at Conowingo, Maryland.
The Susquehanna River already has hundreds of miles of navigable waters and numerous public access points that allow boaters and anglers to enjoy the river.
Congress authorized the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail in 2006 as a series of water routes extending approximately 3,000 miles along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.