Photo: Mountain Man Photography.

Intro photo by Kyle Yates

The Clarion River is one of four waterways in Pennsylvania competing for the state’s 2019 River of the Year. Waterways nominated are the Clarion River, Conodoguinet Creek, Delaware River, and Lackawanna River.

Nominations consider each waterway’s conservation needs and successes, as well as celebration plans if the nominee becomes 2019 River of the Year. In cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), selection of public voting choices is overseen by the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), an affiliate of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

After the winner is announced, local groups put in place a year-round slate of activities and events to celebrate the river, including a paddling trip, or sojourn. The organization nominating the winning river will receive a $10,000 leadership grant from DCNR to help fund River of the Year activities. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Elk County Conservation District, and Allegheny WINS (Watershed Improvement Needs) Coalition nominated the Clarion River for the 2019 award.

POWR and DCNR also work with local organizations to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the River of the Year.

Photo: Herb A.

“Regardless of outcome, the competition builds community support around our rivers and streams, putting them in the public limelight. All have unique attributes, offer incredible recreational opportunities, and offer significant boosts to local economies,” stated Pennsylvania DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn.

The public can vote for a favorite state waterway through 5 p.m. on Friday, January 4, 2019. Vote:

The Clarion River meanders through the narrow valleys and hardwood forests of the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region for 110 miles, flowing from Johnsonburg through Ridgway, Cook Forest State Park, and the Piney Reservoir near Clarion before ultimately joining the Allegheny River near Foxburg. Forested mountain slopes teeming with wildlife, intermittent riffles on the water, and rock outcrops above its surface provide a picturesque backdrop for outdoor recreation. Nearly 52 miles of the river have been designated as scenic and recreational under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and adjacent public lands along its shores provide abundant opportunities for camping, hunting, hiking, bicycling, wildlife watching, and picnicking.

The Clarion River has been honored as Pennsylvania River of the Year three previous times in 1996, 1984, and 1983.

Discover more about the Clarion River Water Trail at To learn more about the Clarion River and other noteworthy destinations throughout the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region, go to or call (814) 849-5197.

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