The Beautiful and the Bold – Lackawaxen River

The Lackawaxen River is like no other. A 31.3-mile tributary to the Delaware River, the Lackawaxen River in Northeast Pennsylvania offers beautiful scenery, rapids, wilderness, bald eagles, bears, deer, beavers, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks, and a host of other living creatures.

Its source is in the borough of Prompton in western Wayne County, at the confluence of the West Branch and Van Auken Creek. It flows past Honesdale and Hawley, where it is joined from the southwest by Wallenpaupack Creek. Water discharged from the Lake Wallenpaupack hydroelectric facility enters the river downstream from Hawley. The river’s water level rises as much as 4-6 feet when the hydroelectric power plant is running and discharging the water from the lake into the river. The river continues east and joins the Delaware at Lackawaxen. East of Honesdale, it was deepened as part of the Delaware and Hudson Canal project.

The river is a popular destination for canoeing, kayaking, and tubing and recreational fly fishing for trout. It was reportedly where the American Western author Zane Grey first learned to fly fish. Lackawaxen is Lenape for “swift waters”. We say it is like no other for it is considered a river of high-quality water, where there are an abundance of fish and other living water organisms.

The Lackawaxen River Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection and unofficial oversight of the river is dedicated to seeing it thrive and maintain its health and beauty. In fact, the Conservancy is in the process of getting the Lackawaxen River designated as a Wild and Scenic River of America. A designation that requires literally an act of congress! 

One of the incredible aspects of the river is the lack of development along its banks.  If you are in a canoe or kayak or on an innertube paddling along the river (No motorboats are allowed on the river) it could be 500 years ago, today, or hopefully 500 years in the future – all one sees is the beauty of nature.

Our goal is to keep it this way for all to come and enjoy!

About the author:

Howard D. Leifman, Ph.D.

Dr. Leifman is the President of The Lackawaxen River Conservancy (TLRC).  He has had a home here in Pike County for over 25 years.  An avid outdoorsman he enjoys the beauty of the river and surrounding environment. When not working on TLRC business, he is an internationally recognized expert in human development. For more information on the Lackawaxen River Conservancy, visit their website at

Photo IDs:

Howard Leifman – author

Lackawaxen River 1-3: pictures of the river, you can use which ever ones fit best in the layout.