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Off the Banks of History in the Northern Susquehanna

The banks surrounding this paddle offer history of Native Americans in the area and their interaction with the incoming French trying to escape the revolutions in Haiti and back in France.

As you approach mile 262, you will see a 25 ft high, 13 ft wide sandstone rock that was first described by an officer of Sullivan's expedition against the Iroquis in 1779. The rock named standing stone later gave its name to a town just across the river. This rock also marks the northwest boundary of the historic French Azilum.

Located near present-day Towanda, Pennsylvania, Azilum provided a refuge for a group of French that were exiled in the fall of 1793. It also was an area where French refugees that sypathized with the King escaped to, in order to avoid the horrors of the Revolution. Other French fled Santo Domingo (Haiti) where uprisings had begun in response to the French Revolution, starting a revolution of their own. It was even believd that Marie Antoinette and her children may have escaped to Azilum with a house that had been buit for the Queen. Today, there are 20 acres of the original settlement to explore.

*For safe paddling, USGS gauge #01531500 at Towanda should read between (negative) 0.5 feet and 5 feet. River height should be above 2-foot gauge level to paddle around islands to view wildlife.

To read more about this itinerary, visit Susquehanna Greenway.

Water Safety

Remember: safe use of rivers and any designated trails, at any time, is your responsibility! Water trail maps are for informational and interpretive purposes only and are not meant for navigational purposes, nor do they take into account level of skills or ability required to navigate rivers. The National Park Service, Chesapeake Conservancy and/or the individual trail associations assume no responsibility or liability for any injury or loss resulting directly or indirectly from the use of water trails, maps or other printed or web-based materials. Learn more about water safety.

Image Credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli