by Caitlin Finnerty
July 17, 2012
In the late 1700s, European and American settlers arrived in the Canisteo watershed in southwestern New York. They cut down nearly 70 percent of the trees in the region and began farming. The Canisteo watershed remained an important region for the nineteenth century early timber industry, but excessive logging and ensuing development drained nearly all of the river’s wetlands.
(Image courtesy mediafury/Flickr)
Today, many hillsides have been reforested, creating a colorful view during peak fall foliage. The few marshes that dot the valley today serve as reminders of the Canisteo of the early 18th century. The river’s beauty still entertains nature photographers, kayakers, whitewater rafters, and hikers alike.
The 61-mile long tributary of the Tioga River gets its name from a Native American word for “head of water,” an appropriate name for this Susquehanna “headwaters” stream. Rising in the hills of northern Allegany County, the Canisteo flows through a valley of steep hillsides and farmland before joining the Tioga just above the New York/Pennsylvania state line.
(Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
More from the Canisteo River:
- Golfers can enjoy breathtaking views of the river valley at Pinnacle State Park and Golf Course.
- Looking for a rustic outdoors experience? There are no designated trails at Canacadea State Forest, near Hornell, Greenwood State Forest, near Canisteo, or Cameron State Forest. Forge your own path.
- Hunters and trappers frequent the 126-acre Helmer Creek Fish and Wildlife Management Area near Rathbone.