Lackawanna River

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Name origin: Lenape word Lechauwa-hannek meaning "the river that forks"[1]
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
 - right Roaring Brook (Scranton)[2]
City Scranton
 - elevation 2,000 ft (610 m)
 - elevation 500 ft (152 m)
Length 62 mi (100 km)
Basin 350 sq mi (906 km2)
Lackawanna and Lackawaxen watersheds

The Lackawanna River is a 40.8-mile-long (65.7 km)[3] tributary of the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. It flows through a region of the northern Pocono Mountains that was once a center of anthracite coal mining in the United States. It starts in north Wayne County, Pennsylvania and ends in East Luzerne County, Pennsylvania in Duryea, Pennsylvania. The lower reaches of the river flow through the urbanized areas of Scranton, which grew around its banks in the 19th century as an industrial center. Its name comes from a Lenni Lenape word meaning "stream that forks".

The river rises in two branches, the West and East branches, along the boundary between Susquehanna and Wayne counties. The branches, each about 12 miles (19 km) long, flow south, closely parallel to each other, and join at the Stillwater Lake reservoir. The combined river flows southwest past Forest City, Carbondale, Mayfield, Jermyn, Archbald, Jessup, Blakely, Olyphant, Dickson City, Throop, Scranton, Taylor, Moosic, Old Forge, and Duryea. It joins the Susquehanna River at the northern boundary of Pittston about 8 miles (13 km) west-southwest of Scranton.

By the mid-20th century, the river was severely polluted from mine drainages in its watershed. The decline of industry in the region, as well as federal, state, and private efforts, have improved the water quality. Still, the Lackawanna River is the largest point source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.[4]

The upper reaches of the river are a popular destination for fly fishing of trout. It was designated as an American Heritage River in 1997.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ David Craft (1891). History of Scranton, Penn: With Full Outline of the Natural Advantages, Accounts of the Indian Tribes, Early Settlements, Connecticut's Claim to the Wyoming Valley, the Trenton Decree, Down to the Present Time. H. W. Crew. pp. 18–. Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lackawanna River Watch Sites". Lackawanna River Corridor Association. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline data. The National Map, accessed August 8, 2011
  4. ^ David Falchek (26 December 2012). "Old Forge borehole drains mines for 50 years". The Scranton Times Tribune. Retrieved 18 March 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°26′19.321″N 75°48′35.474″W / 41.43870028°N 75.80985389°W / 41.43870028; -75.80985389