Chemung River Friends

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111 N Main St
, New York
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About Us

Chemung River inspired Mark Twain

Mark Twain married an Elmira woman and spent many summers writing his greatest novels in a hilltop study overlooking the city and the Chemung River. From the river, you can see East Hill -- the site of Twain’s study and summer home. The study is now on the Elmira College campus on the city’s Northside.

Twain’s scenic river views helped inspire him to write “Life on the Mississippi” and the “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” during his summer stays in Elmira.

It’s likely that during Twain’s frequent trips into town, he strolled along the river, rested on its warm grassy banks and let the flowing water stimulate his creativity and keen wit. It’s a good bet that the Chemung River flowed through Twain’s veins and his pen.

You can enjoy the river’s beauty and recreation by paddling on the water or hiking and bicycling along its banks. When you are done, take a rest on the riverbanks and dream about Huck Finn and riverboat steam whistles.

For more information, including river maps and places to rent canoes or kayaks, visit the Friends of the Chemung River Watershed website at

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