Susquehanna National Heritage Area works with partners and communities to advance a vision for the Susquehanna River and our region as a national destination for heritage and outdoor travelers.

Our Tourism Development efforts increase the visibility and readiness of our area as a visitor destination.

Our Placemaking initiatives enhance the quality and appeal of our area’s special places and landscapes.

Our work has involved a variety of heritage development, conservation and outdoor recreation programs and projects. See Susquehanna Heritage Programs & Projects for an overview of our work since designation as a Pennsylvania Heritage Area in 2001.

View our 2022 Annual Report and Strategic Plan to see what we are planning for the future of the Heritage Area.

Welcoming Visitors to the River


We manage two great places for visitors to discover the river’s rich cultural and natural heritage – Zimmerman Center for Heritage and Columbia Crossing River Trails Center.

Guiding Travelers Through the Riverlands

Our maps and guides help visitors find and explore the river’s extensive network of parks, preserves, trails, and heritage sites.

Enhancing the River’s Tourism Potential

We lead a coalition of tourism, business and public partners to enhance economic vitality through heritage and outdoor tourism development in the Susquehanna Riverlands.

Honoring Our Place in the National Story

Lancaster and York Counties and the river we share were recently designated as a National Heritage Area to recognize the significance of our region to American history.

Planning for the John Smith Trail

We collaborate with the National Park Service to develop and implement a Segment Plan for the Lower Susquehanna portion of America’s first water-based National Historic Trail.

Connecting Visitors to the John Smith Trail

We operate the Zimmerman Center for Heritage as Pennsylvania’s official Visitor Contact & Passport Station for the trail.

Conserving the River’s Iconic Landscapes


Susquehanna National Heritage Area supports regional initiatives to save and enhance important and iconic river landscapes for public use and benefit:

  • As a member of the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape Leadership Team we help identify land preservation priorities and support acquisition efforts along the river.
  • Through the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership we help guide efforts to conserve culturally and ecologically important landscapes in the six ­state Chesapeake watershed.
  • With local and state partners we helped save over 300 acres of scenic and historic riverlands as public parks and preserves, including Highpoint Scenic Vista and Native Lands County Park.
  • We worked with regional, state, and national partners to transfer over 2000 acres of utility lands along the river to public and non-profit groups for long-term stewardship and community recreation.
  • We helped facilitate preservation of Camp Security, a nationally significant Revolutionary War prison camp site at the headwaters of Kreutz Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna.