One of the World’s Oldest Rivers flows through Upstate New York

The Southern Tier of New York is host to one of the oldest rivers worldwide.

The significance of the Susquehanna River often goes unnoticed, despite the fact that it is the longest river on the east coast. It’s truly remarkable to think that many of us travel alongside this majestic river on a daily basis without truly appreciating its importance.

According to geologists, the Susquehanna River dates back over 300 million years and was formed during the Carboniferous Period.

During the Carboniferous Period, the Earth was engulfed by dense and marshy forests that gradually transformed into peat. Over time, this peat underwent further changes and ultimately turned into coal. It is this coal that lends its name to the Carboniferous Period.

The Susquehanna River predates both the Appalachian Mountains and the Bald Eagle Mountains, which is truly remarkable. In fact, the river was already in existence before these mountain ranges even began to take shape.


The Susquehanna River, stretching 444 miles long, primarily resides in Pennsylvania, but it also passes through Binghamton, where it converges with the Chenango River. Notably, the Susquehanna River holds the distinction of being the longest river in the United States without any commercial boat traffic.

The significant role played by the Susquehanna River in the development and growth of Binghamton cannot be overstated. This majestic river served as a vital transportation route, facilitating the shipping of various products and ultimately contributing to the local industry boom.

Back in 1997, the United States Environmental Protection Agency recognized the significance of the Susquehanna River by designating it as one of the American Heritage Rivers. This distinguished recognition entails special focus from government agencies, particularly in the realms of natural resource and environmental protection, economic revitalization, as well as historic and cultural preservation.

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