The Friends of the Chemung River Watershed is the community's connection for everything related to the beautiful Chemung River, its tributaries, and the trails and grounds surrounding the river. The 45-mile-long Chemung River is at the center of our efforts to promote regional recreation for guided paddles, fishing, riverside hikes, cross-country skiing, biking, bird watching, nature photography, and other events and programs. We also believe that a clean watershed is what makes for great outdoor recreation, drawing both locals and tourists to the area, and protecting the ecosystem is critical as we advocate for increased responsible usage of our watershed. We work to educate the public on safe and fun recreation around the river, improving the quality of life in the Southern Tier, and helping the community to embrace their role in protecting our precious natural resources.

River Fest 2024 is Coming!

Click Here to Download the River Fest 2024 Vendor and Sponsorship Application

River Fest will take place on Saturday, July 13, 2024 from 12pm - 6pm at the Grove Street Boat Launch! The launch will be closed to vehicular traffic except for emergency services for the duration of the event, and we ask that car pool or take advantage of Elmira's public transportation system, which has a bus stop just one block from the event. We'll have vendors, food trucks, entertainment, face painting, raffles, safety demonstrations, and more! Oh, and of course we'll have kayaking! More information will be released closer to the event, but if you are interested in sponsorship or becoming a vendor, please click here for more information.

Fascinations by the River

Picture of Fiber Art by Shannah Warwick

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with local fiber artist, Shannah Warwick from BlckBts, to do fiber art installations on the riverside trails throughout Chemung County! Our project, titled "Fascinations by the River," was recently awarded a 2022 Community Arts Grant from The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes! You'll find these nature-inspired art installations in several locations. We won't tell you where, but we've set up a scavenger hunt so you can explore our river trails and discover them on your own. Your first hint:

If you are starting at the beginning of the Chemung River in Chemung County (heading East), you will find the first piece at a boat launch named after a locally famous LANDING...

This project is made possible with funds from the Statewide Community Regrant program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.


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 $5 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!

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 the we do by becoming a "River Friend" member through a donation!

Osprey Live Cam

Osprey Live Cam

Check out our live stream from the Osprey Nesting Pole on Clinton Island in Downtown Elmira, sponsored by Casella! Watch these beautiful birds before they migrate and after they return to the nest, or watch our beautiful river during the off-season.

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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.


Program Highlights

In 2021, we had an amazing day with Burt Beebe from Honeybeemade, Mark Earley from Mark's Hive Relocation, and Casella Waste Systems at the Bee Apiaries on the land buffers! We learned so much on the life of bees, their importance to our watershed ecosystem, and the importance of responsible waste management! This is just one of the many interest programs we run to educate the community on our watershed’s ecosystem. To learn about more of our upcoming programs, click below.


River Dangers

When we receive reports of dangerous obstacles on the rivers, we post them here. Whether you’re out on your boat fishing, hunting, or enjoying the scenery, the Safe Boating Campaign has some tips to get the most out of your adventure on the water and avoid the dangers of cold-water immersion.