Friends of the Chemung River Watershed, Inc.

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.
RIVER MAPS: Paddling Guide & Launch Sites ... click to plan your trip now
2015 River Friends public eco-recreation and cleanup events

June 6 FREE Beginner Paddle Lessons: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., free beginner paddle lessons at River Fest at the Grove Street Boat Launch in Elmira. River Fest runs from noon to 6 p.m.  Come visit the River Friends table and join in the fun.

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.

June 11: 10 a.m. to11 a.m., Lackawanna Rail Trail. Meet in the Elmira City-owned parking lot across from Kennedy Valve on East Water Street in Elmira. Educational topic: History of Lackawanna RR, Phoebe Snow and the plans for repairing and opening the RR bridge over Newtown Creek and remaining 5 miles of the trail to Lowman.

July 15: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., West Elmira primitive dirt trails along the Chemung River. Meet in the public parking lot at the rear of the West Elmira Town Hall on W. Water Street. Educational theme: Local river history and Native American history.

July 30: 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.

Aug. 13: 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.

Sept. 10: 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Draxler Park, Pine City. (details to follow)

Sept. 15: 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 watersheds)

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

June 14: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., eight mile trip on the Chemung River from Grove Street Boat Launch in Elmira to the Toll Bridge Boat Launch at the Lowman Crossover in Wellsburg. 

June 19: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., three mile paddle Fitch’s Bridge Boat Launch in Big Flats to the Grove Street Boat Launch in Elmira. 

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. 

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. 


Visit our new on-line driving guide! ...launches, historic markers and places to visit
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 kayak
Southern Tier Kayak Tours, Ithaca, N.Y. (607) 220-3642, or – specializes in guided tours and paddling instructions
On the River Canoe and Kayak Rentals, Big Flats, N.Y., (607) 215-6692 or - rents canoes and kayaks and leads river paddle tours
Endless Mountain Outfitters, Sugar Run, PA., (570) 746-9140,, 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
Kim's Kayaks, Erin, N.Y., (607) 481-3925 or, rents kayaks

Donate on-line to Chemung River Friends with PayPal

Friends of the Chemung River Watershed • 111 N. Main St., Elmira, N.Y. 14901 • (607) 846-2242 •