Local Rivers and Creeks

Susquehanna River

Description:

The big one! Heads at Otsego Lake in Cooperstown,NY and ends 444 mile later at
the Chesapeake Bay. The sections of the Susquehanna River(footnote)
that flow through Broome and Susquehanna county are nicely documented in the
Broome County publication "Your Guide to Broome County Rivers" available from the
Broome County Department of Parks and Recreation: 607-778-2103 or Parks
Here we cover only the sections of the river from Onenota to Windsor, NY.
Photo
Map
Section Difficulty Distance Time Scenery Page
Oneonta to Wells Bridge 1 15.8 miles 4 - 5 hrs. good 49
Trip Description:

As it flows southwest from Oneonta the river is bordered by routes 88 and 7.
There are no towns or villages on the river in this section so except when the
river is near a highway it is a very quiet section. In some areas there is a little
current to make it more interesting.

Watch for Otedo Creek on the right below the Onenota put in. Later Mills Creek,
Otsdawa Creek, Flax Island Creek, and Brier Creek will enter the river (also on
river right), all five are nearly equally spaced between Oneonta and Wells Bridge.
Access:
In: Oneonta access

Out: The take out at Wells Bridge is at the southeast corner of Bridge Road bridge.
Wells Bridge access

Hazards: May have flooded sections after heavy rain.

Water Conditions: Runnable Spring through Fall some years.

Gauge: The gauge at Unadilla should be near 3.0 ft.
Section Difficulty Distance Time Scenery Page
Wells Bridge to Sidney 1 11.5 3.5 hrs. good 49
Trip Description:

From Wells Bridge it is about 7.5 miles to the town of Unadilla. Indian Creek
enters the river form the right about 1.5 miles from the Wells Bridge put in.
From Unadilla it's about 5.25 miles to Sidney.

In some areas there is a little current to make it more interesting. Also there
is the remains of an old dam and if the water level is right a place to play at.

Access:
In: The put in at Wells Bridge is at the northeast corner of the Bridge Road bridge.
Wells Bridge access

Out: Exit at ... field in Sidney off ... in town. Sidney access

Hazards: May have flooded sections after heavy rain. Old dam remains may require
care for the novice paddler.

Water Conditions: Runnable Spring or Fall. Somtimes after heavy rain.

Gauge: The Unadilla gauge should near 3.0 ft.

Unadilla guage at 1500 cf/s and 3.96 feet and the Bainbridge gauge at 3.45 feet
the old dam remains were covered so there was no wave to play in.

Section Difficulty Distance Time Scenery Page
Sidney to Afton 1 9.8 miles 3.5 good 49
Trip Description:
About one mile below Sidney the Unadilla River enters from the right. Further
on is Bainbridge, about 5.25 miles from Sidney. From Bainbridge to Afton is another
4.5 miles. So the total trip is a little less then 10 miles.

Between Sidney and Bainbridge there is some current to make it more interesting,
below Bainbridge it becomes quite flat.

Access:
In: Enter at ... field in Sidney off ... in town.
Sidney access Out: Exit at Afton access

Hazards: May have flooded sections after heavy rain.

Water Conditions: Runnable Spring through Fall.

Gauge: The Bainbridge gauge should read greater than 2.0 ft.
Section Difficulty Distance Time Scenery Page
Afton to Windsor 1 15 miles 5.5 hrs. good 49
Trip Description:
South of Afton at Nineveh Rts. 88 and 7 leave the river turning west toward Chenango
Bridge. You will pass under the Rt. 88 bridge. Rt. 79 follows the river south to Windsor.
As you apporch Windsor there are a number of braided sections forming islands in the river.
The river is quite flat here. Access:
In: At ,,,,, Afton access

Out: Exit at Windser access

Hazards: May have flooded sections after heavy rain.

Water Conditions: Runnable Spring and Fall most years.

Gauge: The Windsor gauge should read near 4.0 ft.
footnote: Susquehanna is considered by some to be a corruption of Quenischachachge-
khanne 'the long reach river' a name first applied to the West Branch. Also
called 'Gahinta' with the same meaning.

While others say the name comes from 'Sisquehanna' from Sisku 'mud', and hanne,
'a stream'.

(Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania by Donehoo. Published by Gateway
Press 1997)

Or:

The Indians, Lenape, distinguish the river which we call the Susquehanna thus:
the North Branch they called M'chewamispiu or Mchwewarmink.

The West branch they called 'Quenischachgekhanne' but to shorten it they say
Quenischachachki ..

The word Susquehanna, properly Siquehanne, from Sisju for mud and hanne, a stream,
was probably at an early time of the settling of this country overhead by someone
while the Indains were at the time of a flood or freshet remarking: "Juh! Achsisquehann"
or Sisquehanne, which is: 'How muddy the stream is' and therefore taken as the proper
name of the river.

(Aboriginal Place Names of New York - New York Museum)
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Revisions: Feb. 2005, June 2008 Feb. 2010