Click here to find your most complete source of regional river recreation info -- from maps and water levels to boat launch amenities and scenic riverscape photographs. River Friends continues to work to make the Chemung River and its tributaries more accessible, safer and enjoyable.
Mile Markers Will Improve River Safety
Mile markers will be
placed along the Chemung River to help river users know their
location on the water, and help emergency responders locate and
rescue people in emergency situations on the river.
The 6- to 8-foot-tall
markers feature brightly-colored signs on posts, set in concrete in
5-gallon buckets and placed along the riverbanks. Letters and numbers
on the signs designate distances between the signs and the initials
of the fire department that covers that area or the river. The signs
will be removed prior to cold weather and ice flows, and returned to
the river shore in the spring.
The signs will be
installed in pairs (one on each side of the river) at mile intervals.
Some signs will be posted at quarter-mile intervals along the
hazardous river areas (islands, narrow channels, etc.). The signs
will be located using GPS coordinates to better assist 911 emergency
centers in locating callers who are in trouble on the river.
“If paddlers or
fishermen get into trouble on the river and they have a cell phone,
they can call 911 for assistance and use the mile markers to help
emergency responders find their location,” said Jim Pfiffer,
executive director of the Chemung River Friends. “It’s difficult,
even for experienced river paddlers, to know where they are on the
river. These signs are great first step in making the river safer.”
When emergency responders
– usually fire departments – don’t know the location of the
incident, it can add hours to the response time.
The first signs are
expected to be installed June 29 along both sides of the river in
West Elmira between Winsor Avenue and an island just downstream from
Fitch’s Bridge in Big Flats, said Peter Michalko, West Elmira
Police Chief.2015 River Friends public eco-recreation and cleanup events
Friends and volunteers to clean Carpenter Creek in Big Flats on July
Chemung River Friends and
community volunteers will clean a section of Carpenter Creek in Big
Flats from 9 a.m. to noon. July 25.
The creek flows into the
Chemung River, near Willowcreek Golf Club and Tag’s, both on State
Route 352. It has not been cleaned in years and is littered with
tires, cinder blocks, a barrel, a refrigerator, litter and trash. No
additional volunteers are needed, as enough people have already
signed up to help.
The creek flows behind the
Islamic Association of the Finger Lakes at 62 Main St. The Islamic
Association’s parking lot will be used as a staging area for the
cleanup. Nearly 30 volunteers from the Islamic Association, local
Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, River Friends and the community will help
with the cleanup. The Town of Big Flats will dispose of the trash
removed from the creek.
The Islamic Association
and Minier’s Grocery in Big Flats will provide a free picnic lunch
for the cleanup volunteers.
“We are neighbors to the
creek, and we want to be part of the effort to preserve and improve
the environment and our community quality of life,” said Sam Zoubi,
president of the Islamic Association. “It benefits everyone.”
River Friends will provide
work gloves, garbage bags, tools and supervision. Some of the
volunteers will wade into the shallow creek to remove debris. All
volunteers in or near the creek must wear life vests, provided by
August 15 FREE Family Fun Fishing Derby: 9 a.m. to noon, Bring the kids to Brick Pond Park in Elmira to try for the $100 First Prize! Open to all kids under 16 years old. Register at Nickle Creek Bait and Tackle, 133 East Hudson Street in Elmira or on the day of the event. Limit 200 children. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed.
2015 Nature Strollers
River Friends walks: These free, short and
easy walks (less than a half-mile) are designed for
parents/grandparents and children/grandchildren to enjoy an easy walk
or stroller ride along trails and waterways in nature and learn about
our environment and local history. Sponsored by the Chemung Valley
Audubon Society and the Horseheads Family Resource Center. The walks
are led by River Friends staff and volunteers and include an
educational theme, guest speakers and snacks and a rest on blankets
at the half-way point.
10 a.m. to 11 a.m., White Wagon Boat Launch, town of Chemung. Short
walk and talk about the around the boat launch (pavilion, benches,
bathroom) and a walk on the nearby riverside nature trail. Snacks
include hotdogs cooked on grill. Directions: take Wilawana Exit off
of Interstate 86, turn left at end of highway off ramp and follow the
road over the highway bridge and to the boat launch located behind
the CVS distribution center. Educational theme: Local history of
canals and future of White Wagon nature/education trail.
10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Lackawanna Rail Trail spur trail from Eldridge
Park. Meet in the parking lot at end of trail. Short walk on a paved
trail through marshland and meadows. Bring plenty of bug repellant.
Educational theme: Local history of the marsh and Eldridge Park.
10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Draxler Park, Pine City. (details to follow)
6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Seeley Creek, behind Southtown Plaza (Tops Market)
off of Cedar Street. Short walk to the creek side and/or along the
grassy creek levee. Educational theme: Where does the water in the
creek come from and where will it go (learn about the water cycle and
Guided public paddles:
All boats, equipment, transportation and
guides provided. All paddlers must wear buckled up life vests during
the entire paddle. Each paddle includes an educational theme and
stops along the way to talk and learn about river history, ecosystem
and lore. Water provided. Bring your own water bottles and snacks.
Limited to the first 20 paddlers to register and pay the $25
fee-per-paddler. To register, contact Southern Tier Kayak Tours,
607-220-3642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aug. 8: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., seven mile paddle from Bottcher’s Landing Boat Launch to
Fitch’s Bridge Boat Launch, both in Big Flats.
...more>>Visit our new on-line driving guide! ...launches, historic markers and places to visit
Sept. 13: 1
p.m. to 4 p.m. seven mile paddle from Bottcher’s Landing Boat
Launch to Fitch’s Bridge Boat Launch, both in Big Flats.
access a map that will give you information about river boat launches, historic markers and places and other sites to visit along the river in your vehicle. ...more>>Where to rent a canoe or kayakSouthern Tier Kayak Tours,
Ithaca, N.Y. (607) 220-3642, email@example.com or www.stktours.com – specializes in guided tours and paddling instructions
On the River Canoe and Kayak Rentals,
Big Flats, N.Y., (607) 215-6692 or firstname.lastname@example.org - rents canoes and kayaks and leads river paddle tours
Endless Mountain Outfitters,
Sugar Run, PA., (570) 746-9140, www.emo444.com, rents and sells canoes and kayaks and leads river paddle tours,
Wilson Rental Center,
Corning, N.Y., (607) 962-8611, - rents canoes
Summit to Stream Adventures,
Watkins Glen, N.Y. (607) 535-2701 – rents canoes and kayaks and leads river paddle tours
Corning, N.Y., (607) 481-3925 or email@example.com, rents kayaks Donate on-line to Chemung River Friends with PayPal