We Are Hiring!

Dream JobRiver Friends is searching for a new Executive Director, as our current Executive Director, Jim Pfiffer, is retiring this year. We are accepting applications for this amazing, part-time position through July 1, 2020. Check out the job description and qualifications here [PDF]. This is a dream job for friends of the river!

River Safety During the Rainy Season

Jim has written an excellent article, The Dangers of Speedy High-Water River Currents. This is quite timely, as we have already had boaters have to be rescued from high waters, or in more tragic events, drown, in our local rivers. The rainy season presents challenges and dangers that you should recognize. Please read the article in our educational section of the website about flooding.Life Jacket

Warmer weather means more people boating on our rivers and lakes. Paddling a canoe, kayak or paddleboard is a great way to get some fresh air exercise, enjoy nature and still maintain safe social distancing. Like all water activities, boating requires common sense, proper equipment and wearing life vests. You can find lots of helpful tips at the Safe Boating Campaign website.

Chemung River Friends urges everyone to follow safe boating rules, wear buckled life vests when on the water, and save the alcoholic beverages for after you have a fun time on the water.

Don’t forget to do your part to reduce the spread of invasive plant, fish, and animal species. Please clean, inspect and remove all visible mud, plants, fish, and animals from your boast, trailer, clothing, dogs, fishing gear or other equipment and dispose of in a suitable trash container on dry land. Clean your boat and equipment. Rinse everything that has come in contact with the water before leaving the boat launch.

River Friends

The river is the center of regional recreation including guided paddles, fishing, riverside hikes, cross-country ski trips, bird watching, nature photography and river festivals. The clean water makes for great fishing for walleye, bass, sunfish, and scores of other game fish. Many residents fish the river as a source of food, and fishing derbies draw both locals and tourists to the area.

Our waterways offer hands-on outdoor classrooms for environmental education, and a means to reconnect our residents, especially youth, to nature and our natural resources. River Friends has partnered with the Finn Academy charter school in Elmira to use the river as a hands-on environmental classroom and source of expeditionary learning. The community is discovering and accepting its role in protecting and preserving our waterways and environment.

Read more about our history here.

Chemung River Trail Assessment & Comprehensive Master Plan

Prepared for the City of Elmira, NY, & Chemung County Waterfront Advisory Committee. [PDF]

A Driving Guide to History Along the Chemung River

Explore the path of the Chemung River in Chemung County and learn about its historic significance. [PDF]

Osprey Live Cam

Osprey Live Cam

On June 1, 2019, Chemung River Friends announced our new live feed from the Osprey Nesting Pole on Clinton Island in Downtown Elmira, sponsored by Pump Doctors in Horseheads, NY. They are your well water experts, who have been keeping our water clean for over 30 years! To log in to the web cam, click below and use the word "guest" as both the user name and password.


Support River Friends

When you make a donation, ask us about how you can obtain our river map bandannas and our Susquehanna & Chemung River Guide Book—a great way to support our organization! Our bandannas are available for $10 and our Guide Book is only $40. The book is 116 pages of topographic maps of the Chemung and Susquehanna Rivers, boating regulations, paddling tips, safety info, river history, camp sites, and so much more!

Picture of the River

River Maps & Launch Sites

We have everything you'll need as you explore our rivers! You can view our interactive map, learn about water safety, and learn all about the history of our rivers. Explore the site menus above for more info. You can click on the button below to view current water levels.

Girl in a Kayak

Rent a Watercraft

One of our most frequently asked questions is where do you rent a canoe? If you're ready to explore the rivers and need a boat, canoe, or kayak, we've got you covered.

Members on the River


Guided canoe & kayak trips, river hikes, bike treks, cross-country skiing and riverbank cleanups, building boat launches, developing riverside education and safe boating programs for all ages, preserving and protecting our rivers, plants, and wildlife, and promoting the scenic beauty that is the Chemung River... You can support all that we do with your membership!

Trash in the River

Report Illegal Activity

"River dumping and littering is a continual problem in and along our waterways. That's why we work with law enforcement and the public to reduce it and find and prosecute the people who do the dumping. We are never going to stop the littering. But arrests, hefty fines, and public education can help reduce it." -Jim Pfiffer