Local Rivers and Creeks

Chemung River


A moderate size river, heads at Painted Post (Corning) at the confluence of the Tioga
and Cohocton Rivers and flows east through Steuben and Chemung counties, NY.
As it flows east it passes through the towns of Elmira, Chemung, and Waverly before
entering Pennsylvania east of Sayre.

The Chemung (footnote) ends at its confluence with the Susquehanna River just
below Athens PA. Map

Section Difficulty Distance Time Scenery Page
Wellsburg to Sayre, PA 0 - 1 14 miles 4 hrs. very good 46
Trip Description:

Because of its slow current it is a nice introduction to river paddling for the novice
paddler. The scenery is typical of the area, long ridges covered with deciduous forest.


In: The access is on the north shore across the river from Wellsburg NY at the northeast
side of the bridge at the fisherman's access. Exit Rt. 17/86 at the Wellsburg/Lowman -
exit 58 turn South.
Access Map

Out: Exit Rt. 17/86 north of Sayre, PA onto Rt. 220 south. Exit right at the first exit off Rt. 220.
Turn right onto Mile Lane Rd, crossing the Chemung river at the bridge. The access is on the left.
Access Map

Hazards: None reported.

Water Conditions: Runnable Spring and Fall most years or after heavy rain during the Summer.

Gauge: The Chemung, NY gauge should read 3.0 ft. or better.

Chemung: (shuh-MUHNG) The name of a former Indian village at the site of the present Chemumg, NY.
The name means "a horn" or "antlers".

There is dispute whether the name refers to tusk (mammoth?) found near the river. Perhaps
the name relates more to the appearance of elk or deer antlers with it's various forked
streams that enter it.

The river was formerly called the Cayuga Branch, and also the Tioga. It was known to the
French as "R. de Kanestio", or River Canestio.
(Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania by Donehoo. Published by Gateway Press 1997)
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Revisions: Jan. 2005 May 2008 Feb. 2010