Bowman Creek

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Bowman Creek is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in Luzerne County and Wyoming County, in Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is approximately 26.4 miles (42.5 km) long and flows through Ross Township and Lake Township in Luzerne County and Noxen Township, Monroe Township, and Eaton Township in Wyoming County.[1] The watershed of the creek has an area of 120 square miles (310 km2).


Bowman Creek begins in Ross Township, Luzerne County at the mouths of North Branch Bowman Creek and South Branch Bowman Creek on North Mountain. It flows northeast for some distance, passing through a lake and receiving the tributary Bean Run. A short distance later, it turns roughly east for a couple of miles, receiving the tributary Wolf Run. The creek then turns northeast for a few miles, entering Lake township, Luzerne County. In this township, it receives the tributaries Beth Run and Butternut Run. It then turns north and on the northern edge of the township, the creek leaves Lake Township and Luzerne County.[1]

Upon leaving Luzerne County, Bowman Creek enters Noxen Township, Wyoming County. It almost immediately receives the tributaries Sugar Run and Cider Run and then turns northeast. Continuing northeast, the creek picks up the tributaries Broud Hollow Run, Windfall Run, and Sober Run and also passes by Stone Mountain. It then turns north-northeast and picks up Stone Run, passing by the community of Stull. The creek then turns roughly east for a few miles and its valley widens as it passes through the community of Noxen. In Noxen, the creek receives the tributaries York Run, Hettesheiner Run, and Beaver Run. Upon exiting Noxen, the creek enters Monroe Township, Wyoming County. In this township, it picks up the tributary South Run and turns north, flowing parallel to Pennsylvania Route 29. As the creek passes between Schooley Mountain and Brier Mountain, it receives the tributary Leopard Creek. Some distance later, it turns northeast and enters Eaton Township, Wyoming County. In this township, the creek turns east and then north for a few miles. It then turns east for a few miles and reaches its confluence with the Susquehanna River.[1]

Bowman Creek joins the Susquehanna River 218.00 miles (350.84 km) upstream of its mouth.[2]

Geography, geology, and climate[edit]

The elevation near the mouth of Wyoming Creek is 561 feet (171 m) above sea level.[3] The elevation of the creek's source is between 1,840 feet (560 m) and 1,860 feet (570 m).[1] Between 1,900 feet (580 m) above sea level (river mile 25.5) and 640 feet (200 m) above sea level (river mile 3.5), the creek's elevation decreases at a rate of 57.3 feet (17.5 m) per mile.[4]

A portion of Bowman Creek is on the plateau of North Mountain. The creek flows through a deep valley that somewhat resembles a gorge. The stream banks of the creek have riprap in some places. Houses line the creek in places as well. A waterfall known as Evans Falls is situated on Bowman Creek. It is 8 feet (2.4 m) high. Additionally, there are strainers on portions of the creek.[5]

The topography of the watershed of Bowman Creek is described as "rough and hill" in a 1921 book. There are some small lakes such as Rymans Pond, which has a surface area of 77.7 acres. A number of swamps are also present in the watershed. The area contains a narrow valley surrounded by hills that are between 800 feet (240 m) and 1,000 feet (300 m) in height. Glaciation has affected the watershed in the past.[4]

The channel of Bowman Creek is sinuous, with alluvial floodplains in some areas. The creek flows through rock formations made of sandstone and shale. Glacial drift is also present in the watershed.[4]

The annual rate of precipitation in the watershed of Bowman Creek ranges between 45 inches (110 cm) and 55 inches (140 cm).[4]

Watershed, history, and industries[edit]

The watershed of Bowman Creek has an area of 120 square miles (310 km2).[2] The watershed is in northwestern Luzerne County and southern Wyoming County. The drainage basin of the creek is part of the Upper North Branch Susquehanna River drainage basin.[4]

In the early 1900s, the main industries in the watershed of Bowman Creek included tannery and agriculture. The creek and its tributary Hettesheimer Run were used as an industrial supply in the community of Noxen during this time period. Additionally, the creek's water flow powered a gristmill. The Lehigh Valley Railroad passed through the watershed of the creek and ran parallel to it in its upper reaches in the early 1900s.[4]

In the early 1900s, the major communities in the watershed of Bowman Creek included Noxen, Beaumont, and Eatonville. In 1921, their populations were 500, 208, and 161, respectively.[4]

A gauging station was established on Bowman Creek at Eatonville in January 1914.[4]


It is possible to canoe on 10.3 miles (16.6 km) of Bowman Creek during snowmelt and within four days of heavy rain. The difficulty rating of the creek ranges from 1 to 2. Edward Gertler describes the scenery along it as "fair to good" in his book Keystone Canoeing.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d United States Geological Survey, The National Map Viewer, retrieved September 27, 2014 
  2. ^ a b Pennsylvania Gazetteer of Streams (PDF), November 2, 2001, retrieved September 27, 2014 
  3. ^ Topographic Map Stream Features in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, retrieved September 27, 2014 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Water Supply Commission of Pennsylvania (1921), Water Resources Inventory Report, pp. 245,246, retrieved September 27, 2014 
  5. ^ a b Edward Gertler (1984), Keystone Canoeing, Seneca Press, p. 249