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The Tioga River in the Finger Lakes

The Tioga River runs through a broad, pastoral valley. Keep your eyes open for eagles.


The Tioga River begins in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, crosses over into Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and then enters New York State in Steuben County in the Town of Lindley. It travels north into the Town of Erwin where it is joined by the Canisteo River. After a few more miles, it is joined by the Cohocton, thus making the Chemung, which loops around to the east, heads south back into Pennsylvania where it eventually meets the Susquehanna.

Physical Features

The Tioga River a relatively gentle river that runs through a broad valley that is rural with long stretches of farmland. Very few roads intersect it, consequently, there are few launch sites. It has a few islands that can be interesting to paddle around, but all islands are privately owned and should not be entered upon. The entire length of the river in New York State is about 14 mi./22.5 km.


The river is not reliably deep enough for motorboating, but it is good for kayaking, canoeing, and rowing. The three launch sites on the river are listed below.

State Street Bridge (41°59'57.47"N 77° 6'55.16"W)

The most northern street in Lawrenceville Pennsylvania is State Street, which intersects with U.S. Route 15 at the state line. State Street runs east and west. Follow it to the end of the street where a bridge crosses the Tioga River. On the north side of the street just before you cross the bridge is a space for parking one or two vehicles. Carry your boat down the embankment to the river. You will be putting in just south of the confluence of the Cowanesque and the Tioga.

Lindley Road Bridge (see below)

The new bridge over the Tioga River on Lindley Road is expected to have a boat launch and perhaps even a picnic area.

Mulholland Road Bridge

This is a designated launch site with a small parking area and concrete steps leading down to the water. This is the most northern launch site on the river.

The Mulholland Road Bridge near State Route 417.Whitewater Classification

The Tioga River has no whitewater designation.

Water Level

Because the Cowanesque feeds into the Tioga just after it enters into New York State and because the Cowanesque is dammed in Pennsylvania, water levels on the Tioga can vary. Suffice it to say that, unless there is a drought, the Tioga can be counted on to provide sufficient water for paddling.

Streamflow Conditions


The Tioga River is a popular river for swimming. One of the most frequented swimming spots alone the river is at the intersection of Smith and Indian Hills roads in the hamlet of Presho. On any warm summer day you'll see cars parked and a dozen or more people enjoying the cool water. This is also a good, but totally unofficial, spot to launch a boat, and many people do.


Along the river you'll see a wide variety of wildlife, including white-tail deer, bears, small mammals like squirrels, skunks, and foxes, as well as a variety of birds.


You can follow the river from the state line all the way up to Erwins on the same road (though the road name changes a number of times). This is a distance of about 10 mi./16 km. one way. The road is windy with not much of a shoulder, but traffic is generally light and local. It is not recommended that you go further than Erwins as the traffic becomes heavy and bicycling is not permitted on the four-lane highways.

Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management Areas

The river runs by Indian Hills State Golf Course on Indian Hills Road. At this time, the park is only an 18-hole public golf course, but the state does own 2400 ft./731.5 m. of river frontage.



There are no bed and breakfasts along the river, however, there are a number of fine bed and breakfasts in the area.


There are no campgrounds along the river but there are a number of campgrounds within the county. The closest campground to the southern end of the river is probably Cowanesque Lake.


There are a number of motels in the Painted Post and Corning area. The closest one is probably The Erwin Motel.


Created 23 August 2009








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