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Kudos to the Sock

Well, it’s official. The results are finally in. Our beloved Loyalsock Creek was recently named the 2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year. Hooray!

The general public voted online. They chose from five other nominated waterways from across the state. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Pennsylvania Organization for Waterways and Rivers (POWR) made the announcement a few weeks back. Winner. Winner. Chicken dinner. Sweet!

Loyalsock outplayed and outlasted the competition by receiving 6,100 of the 15,061 casted votes. Thanks to those who logged in to help secure the title. Connoquenessing Creek finished second with 5,381 tallies. I’m sure she’s just as pretty, but good luck trying to spell her. The Lackawanna River over near Scranton took third, and the Lower Susquehanna Riverlands was a distant fourth. The Little Juniata only scored 791 votes. Better luck next year kids. Perhaps you should try paying people to share your statuses.

The DCNR and the POWR will work with the Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPERs to create a commemorative poster celebrating this fine achievement. The RIVERKEEPERs, who nominated and backed the Sock, will also receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund River of the Year activities. This is grand.

“The Pennsylvania River of the Year truly showed the depth of the region’s ‘Loyalsock Love,’” Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPER Czar Carol Parenzan said. “We are grateful to those who voted, and we thank our partner — the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association — for its unending commitment and unlimited loyalty to this precious waterway.

“In the past, Loyalsock Creek was a hidden gem,” Parenzan continued. “And with this recognition and award, we are ready to share this timeless treasure with the rest of Pennsylvania and beyond.”

The name Loyalsock is from an old Indian phrase “LAWI-SAQUICK” meaning the middle creek since it flows between Muncy and Lycoming. It begins in Wyoming County and ends in nearby Montoursville, where it flows into the West Branch of the mighty Susquehanna. This majestic 64-mile watershed of North Central PA is home to thousands of anglers, paddlers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

I have spent a great deal of time enjoying the Sock and what she has to offer. One of my best buds had a cabin outside of Barbours where we would spend hours and hours fishing for monster browns. Now I sometimes take an afternoon drive up PA Route 87 just for fun, and Jensen’s favorite place to hike is the beautiful 780 acres of World’s End State Park. You might find me in my kayak during the dog days of summer. I often stop at Pier 87 for a quick brew. Occasionally, my family will even join me for dinner by the creek. I only paddle downstream and sometimes have to hitchhike.

I have yet to find a vista along Loyalsock Creek that won’t disappoint. The entire landscape of this magnificent waterway is simply gorgeous. I can vividly remember those dark days in the September of 2011. Many residents and businesses were absolutely devastated by that flash flood. But our homes, buildings, and bridges have since been rebuilt. It has been a very long process, and hopefully, this announcement will continue to boost.

Loyalsock Creek is now the 2018 Pennsylvania River of the Year, and I am absolutely ecstatic. This is a major win kids, and I am very thankful to those who continue to graciously preserve. A quick shout to my friends at the Middle Susquehanna RIVERKEEPERs. Likewise to my mates of the Loyalsock Creek Watershed Association. Major props to Dr. Mel Zimmerman and Lycoming College’s Clean Water Institute. Much love folks. Congratulations and thanks for all that you do.

To learn more about the River of the Year program, the nominated waterways, and past winners, please visit Cheers.

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