Susquehanna-Chemung Action Plan -- Outdoor Recreation

An Ecosystem-Based Watershed Management Plan
for the
Susquehanna and Chemung Basins of New York

Water connects us all...

Connect people to nature.

  • Enhance opportunities for watershed residents, children, and tourists to enjoy the region's rivers, lakes, and wetlands by protecting scenic vistas, revitalizing waterfronts, promoting outdoor recreation, and providing additional opportunities for water-based recreation.


Section 10:  Outdoor Recreation

GIS Viewer



  • Chemung Basin River Trail - River Trail Assessment & Comprehensive Master Plan (2008):  Building on a 2004 community visioning project, six Chemung County municipalities and community members developed a Master Plan that includes designs related to recreation and tourism, river access, historic and cultural ties, economic development and local and regional identity.
  • Southeast Steuben River Vision Project:  Six municipalities located along the Chemung River in Steuben County are identifying existing river-related trails and facilities, historic sites and tourist destinations and recommending new trails and facilities to complete a trail system that interconnects with that identified in the Chemung River Trail Master Plan (Chemung County).
  • Susquehanna Heritage Area (Broome and Tioga Counties) - Management Plan Update (2009); Executive Summary:  Two-county strategy for developing a New York State Heritage Area program that links historic, cultural, agritourism, and recreational resources.
  • Binghamton Metropolitan Area.  Plans developed by the Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study(BMTS) Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee include:
    • Binghamton Metropolitan Greenway Study:  Master plans, design guidelines and implementation strategies for riverbank trail development.
    • Pedestrian & Bicycle Plan
    • Route 434 Greenway Project:  Plan to accommodate pedestrians and bicycles for both recreational and commuting purposes.
  • Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council (ECTC) Long Range Plan includes recommendations for meeting infrastructure needs of walkers and cyclists, including proposed multi-use trails.
  • Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council (ITCTC) studies and maps include:
    • Multi-Use Trails Map of Tompkins County
    • Tompkins County Bicycle Suitability Map
    • Tompkins County Pedestrian Facilities Inventory Data Report
    • Transportation Trail/Corridor Study - Identifies corridors with the highest potential for use as a countywide trail system.
  • Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP):
    • City of BinghamtonLWRP Plan; River Trails Commission
    • Southeast Steuben County: Southeast Steuben River Vision
    • Tioughnioga River Trail (Cortland County) 
    • Southern Tier 4-Rivers Commerce & Recreation Initiative (4-R):  A consortium of Broome County municipalities that border the Chenango, Delaware, Susquehanna, and Tioughnioga Rivers is developing a list of potential projects for an LWRP Plan (under development)
  • Region 7 Recreation Master Plan for State Forests by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation addresses recreational opportunities provided by state forest land in Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Tompkins, and Tioga Counties.
  • NYS Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) includes descriptions of all recreational resources in the state and use trend analysis.
  • NYS Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (by the NYS Department of Transportation).  Related DOT sites include Bicycling in New York State and Pedestrian Information.
  • New York State Open Space Conservation Plan includes the goal "To provide accessible, quality outdoor recreation and open space to all New Yorkers" and recommends actions for:
    • Connecting our Children with Nature
    • Community Greening for Environmental Justice
    • Building Community Gardens & Urban Farms
    • Ensuring Accessible Recreation
  • A list of the Priority Conservation Projects in the Susquehanna-Chemung Watershed is on the Action Plan Land Use page.
  • New York State DEC State Lands Interactive Mapper: Online map of trails and state land.
  • New York State DEC Geodata Map Viewer: Interactive mapping tool for accessing NYSDEC server, which contains data about water resources, wildlife, and recreation.

Good Resources
Friends of the Chemung River Watershed
The River Friends work to preserve and promote the Chemung River and its tributaries, encouraging people to better use, enjoy, and respect the rivers.
Headwaters River Trail
The Headwaters River Trail joins the Chemung Basin River Trail and Pennsylvania river trails to complete the entire Susquehanna River system all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.  The Headwaters River Trail is a newly developed canoe and kayak trail including the upper Susquehanna River and its four major tributaries: the Chenango, Unadilla, Otselic, and Tioghnioga Rivers.  The Headwaters River Trail offers hundreds of miles of navigable waters and 60 public access points allowing boaters and fisherman to enjoy this natural resource, with more being planned and constructed every year.
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Watertrails are special places that tell the story of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  The Chemung Basin River Trail is a member of the Gateways Network, which includes parks, museums, historic communities, trails and other sites that connect people to a treasured landscape and inspire stewardship for the future.
Bay and River Sojourns
The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay sponsors week-long paddling and camping trips along rivers in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  In addition to paddling, participants meet with local communities and participate in educational events.
Finger Lakes Trail System
The Finger Lakes Trail traverses parts of the Chemung and Susquehanna River Watersheds as it crosses New York State from the Allegany State Park to the Catskill Forest Preserve.  The recently-completed Crystal Hills Branch Trail near Corning connects to trail systems in Pennsylvania.
Chenango Greenway Conservancy
The 6-mile Riverwalk Trail along the Chenango River in Norwich is the first project of the Chenango Greenway Conservancy.  This group of local residents plans to expand the network of public non-motorized recreational trails to include portions of the former Chenango Canal, abandoned railroad corridors, and a connection to the Finger Lakes Trail.
New York's Watchable Wildlife
Resource for planning wildlife viewing includes a list of good wildlife viewing sites and information about where to look for different wildlife species.  Or try using the New York Nature Explorer to learn which animals and plants have been found in your neighborhood (not compatible with all browsers).
Treasured Landscapes
"Treasured landscapes" are special places we revere as individuals and communities for their ecological, historical, or recreational values - for their role in maintaining and renewing our identity and spirit as a people.  As a result of the 2009 Chesapeake Bay Executive Order, the Department of the Interior will launch a Chesapeake Treasured Landscape Initiative to protect priority areas and improve public access to waterways.  The idea is to preserve what makes the Cheaspeake Bay region unique.
Susquehanna River Trail Association
The Susquehanna River Trail extends 51 miles along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania to promote environmentally responsible recreation on the River and its islands. The Association encourages resource awareness, stewardship, and conservation.
Susquehanna Greenway
Susquehanna Greenway Partners are developing a strategy for linking natural, cultural, historic, and recreational resources along the Susquehanna River corridor in Pennsylvania.
Boat Safety is an educational resource on safe boating practices.
A River and Boating Safety brochure was developed for the Southern Tier region.


"When we walk, we naturally go to the fields and woods:
What would become of us
if we walked only in a garden or mall?"
- Henry David Thoreau


Learn More

Additional information, references, and recommended actions may be added to these page as the plan is implemented and updated. If you would like to get involved and share resources or suggestions, please contact a member of the ad hoc Advisory Committee or STC staff, Chelsea Robertson (; 607-962-5092). Learn more about the Suquehanna-Chemung Action Plan by selecting issues from the menu on the left. Other resources include a Project Summary handout, information about Ecosystem-Based Management, and a document library with minutes and other information.


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