Follow along as Alliance staff member, Laura Todd, paddles all 444 miles of the Main Branch of the Susquehanna River with her father, Mark. Starting in June 2022 in Cooperstown, New York, the pair began kayaking down the river to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at Havre de Grace, Maryland. This series will follow their journey over the next year as they paddle the longest river on the East Coast, sharing Susquehanna facts, photos, and reflections from the trip along the way.

Click here to read more about the trip and to see Laura’s gear list.
Click here to read more about the first leg of the trip, Mile 0 to Mile 109.

Day One, September 4, 2022

Geiger Road to Westover Dam
17 Miles – Mile 109 – Mile 126

A landscape of a river, a tree line, and a person fishing.

We started off with a busy day as we paddled up to and through Binghamton, NY. There are four hazards in Binghamton including dams, breached dams, and pipelines that typically require portages, depending on the water level. We had scoped all of the areas the day before, which proved to be essential. I’m even more glad we did, because we saw our first river otter running along the bank at one portage site! I’m amazed we were still able to do 17 miles this day, despite spending lots of time hauling both kayaks around each hazard. Pictured is a low-head dam where we met a nice angler who caught a smallmouth bass as we passed through.

Day Two, September 6, 2022

Westover Dam to Hickories Park
18.5 Miles – Mile 126 – Mile 144.5

The view from inside of a kayak going down a river during a cloudy day.

We skipped paddling on September 5th due to heavy rains. The rain luckily raised the water levels substantially, which sped up the flow of the water and allowed us to fit more mileage into fewer days. A beaver crossed the river as we launched this morning, which was a wonderful send off! The afternoon got quite windy and we were expecting more rain so we decided to stop a bit earlier. Most mornings were quite foggy like the one pictured here.

Day Three, September 7, 2022

Hickories Park to DEC Barton Canon Hole
17.5 Miles – Mile 144.5 – Mile 162

Two people floating down a river in kayaks, past a bridge.

We passed through the Town of Owego in New York this day. My dad and I snapped a selfie just past the main bridge through town. It’s a very cute town with beautiful historic homes and neat, local shops and restaurants. I’m glad we stayed in Owego and had more time to explore when we weren’t in our kayaks. Today’s route also contained Hiawatha Island, the largest island in the Susquehanna River located in New York. In the late 1800s, the island had a grand hotel, which was then converted into a private residence. Today, the 112-acre island is a nature preserve.

Day Four, September 8 2022

DEC Barton Canon Hole to Wysox Township Park Access
26 Miles – Mile 162 – Mile 188 (River Mile (RM) 267)


This day was our longest paddle to-date! After a few miles, we crossed the state line back into Pennsylvania, thus completing our time in New York. One state down, two to go! We also traversed our biggest rapids yet underneath a bridge in Towanda, Pennsylvania. The currents can be stronger around some bridges so it’s best to be cautious. Having a good map is key to staying safe on the water. On this leg, we switched over to a new map as we completed our previous one. We’re now using The Susquehanna River Water Trail – North Branch map provided by the Endless Mountain Heritage Region and Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Their mile markers differ from our prior system and are marked here as “River Mile” or “RM”.

Day Five, September 9, 2022

Wysox Township Park Access to Laceyville Borough Access
26 Miles – Mile 188 (RM 267) – Mile 214 (RM 241)

The front of a kayak looking toward a hill covered in fog.

September 9 encompassed the most beautiful scenery we have encountered on the Susquehanna River so far. This part of Pennsylvania is aptly named the Endless Mountains region. As you gaze down the river, one mountain appears after another for miles. They rise up vastly out of the water so you feel quite contained. There is also little development along the river in this section which made for a very peaceful and quiet paddle. Misty fog across the mountains in the morning made the experience feel like a dream.

A person moving kayaks at a boat ramp, under a clear blue sky..

The fog dissipated in the afternoon to give way to a beautiful, sunny day. We stopped at this boat ramp to have lunch.

Day Six, September 10, 2022

Laceyville Borough Access to Mehoopany Private Access
11 Miles – Mile 214 (RM 241) – Mile 25 (RM 230)

The front of a kayak looking toward a hill, with the sun shining directly above it.

We officially crossed the halfway point of our journey at Mile 222 today! My mom, Tammy, and boyfriend, Kula, were once again crucial to the success of the trip. We can’t thank them enough for all of their help! I’m looking forward to getting back on the river with my dad as we paddle the remaining miles of the Susquehanna in 2023. See you next year!