How Long Is the Susquehanna River From Start to End?

View of the Susquehanna River at sunset, from the Pinnacle in Southern Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
© Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com

Written by Nikita Ross

Updated: February 26, 2024

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The Susquehanna River is the largest river on the East Coast of the United States, spanning 444 miles (714.5km) from start to finish. It’s also considered one of the oldest and most important rivers on the Eastern seaboard, contributing to settlement and trade over the centuries.

Read on to discover some fascinating facts about the Susquehanna River.

The Susquehanna River: History

Oldest Rivers - Susquehanna River

The beautiful Susquehanna is over 300 million years old, making it one of the oldest rivers.

©Jayce Wyatt Photography/Shutterstock.com

The Susquehanna River is one of the oldest rivers in the world. Geologists surmise that the Susquehanna is over 300 million years old. For comparison, the Mississippi River is around 80 million years old.

The longest river on the Eastern seaboard, the Susquehanna, starts in New York and runs through Pennsylvania and into Maryland. It also has 49,000 waterways and supplies more than 50% of the fresh water in Chesapeake Bay.

Susquehanna is an Algonquin word. While translations vary, it’s believed to mean either “Muddy River” or “Oyster River,” the latter referring to the once-high population of oysters.

Additionally, this river played a pivotal role in settling the East Coast—Captain John Smith briefly explored the mouth of the river in 1608. The Susquehanna became a hotspot for transporting goods, causing plenty of political turmoil over the years.

Despite its length and considerable width at some points, The Susquehanna is considered commercially non-navigable. This vast river is only 33.41 feet at its deepest point, making it unsuitable for modern vessels.

Rivers Fed By the Susquehanna River

Susquehanna River in PA, USA on a summer autumn day.

The stunning Susquehanna runs through Pennsylvania.

©McKinneMike/iStock via Getty Images

The Susquehanna River Watershed feeds other major rivers on the East Coast, including:

  • Chenango River – 90 miles long, covering 1,609 square miles, in New York.
  • Tioga River – 58 miles long, covering 1,384 square miles, in New York and into Pennsylvania.

Additionally, this incredible river also feeds thousands of creeks and empties into the Atlantic Ocean, making it unique in the United States.

Comparable Rivers to the Susquehanna River

Both of the rivers ranking on either side of the Susquehanna in terms of length are located in Alaska. The Porcupine River in Alaska is the closest, longer river at 569 miles (916km) long. Meanwhile, the Stikine River is the next shortest at 379 miles (610km) long.


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About the Author

Nikita Ross is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering plants, gardening, and yard care. Nikita has been writing for over seven years and holds a Marketing diploma from NSCC, which she earned in 2010. A resident of Canada, Nikita enjoys reading in her library, epic beach naps, and waiting for her Coffea arabica plant to produce coffee beans (no luck yet).

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