Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why Not Sign Up for A Mid-Week Day of the Schuylkill River Sojourn?

Photo by Jeremy Quant
It's happened again. Only a week after we opened up registration for individual days on the annual Schuylkill River Sojourn the first three days of the seven-day guided canoe/kayak tour (June 7-13) have already sold out. Sure, everybody wants to paddle on the weekend. But, to keep things safe we allow only 100 boats per day. That means we wind up turning people away on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while, often, Tuesday through Friday don't completely fill up. If you are one of those who hesitated a bit too long to get on the sojourn's weekend days, don't despair! Tuesday through Friday offer plenty of fun paddling opportunities. Here's a day-by-day guide to the sojourn's mid-week days. All have openings so you can sign up for one or all four!
As always the sojourn will begin in Schuylkill Haven and end at Philadelphia's Boathouse Row with participants paddling 14-18 miles per day. The program theme is Schuylkill River: PA's 2014 River of the Year.

 Tuesday June 10. (13.9 miles: Gibraltar to Pottstown) (Updated May 2: We're sorry, this date is now filled!)
Sojourners rest at Morlatton Village
If you have never done the sojourn before, and want to test out a day, this is the day to try.  It's an easy paddling day, featuring a lot of beautiful scenery. Paddlers in this area have reported seeing bald eagles and other interesting wildlife. Another reason to consider Tuesday? We have great programming planned. The lunch stop is at Historic Morlatton Village, a beautiful and historic setting where this year there will be a presentation on the restoration of Frick's Lock Village, a canal town turned ghost town. And the evening stop, at Riverfront Park in Pottstown, includes arguably the best dinner on the trip, catered by Bause Catering. The evening program will feature a special River of the Year panel presentation by six watershed conservancies who will discuss efforts to protect the river and tributaries.

Wednesday June 11. (17.8 miles: Pottstown to Mont Clare Lock 60) One of the major highlights of the weeklong sojourn happens on this day, which ends at the restored Lock 60 on the former Schuylkill Canal. Sojourners end the day by "locking through" the lock (see photo on left). This is such a cool experience, it's worth doing Wednesday for that alone. But, there's also some nice scenery and an enjoyable lunch setting  at Victory Park, in Royersford, where the Borough officials welcome sojourners with a delicious cake.  In the evening, paddlers can camp out near the canal, eat spaghetti dinner at nearby St. Micheal's Pavilion, and listen to a presentation on Dragon Boating.

Thursday June 12. (14 miles: Mont Clare to West Conshohocken) This is a great day to paddle for several reasons. For one thing, this year, we will be accompanied for part of the trip by a dragon boat. For another, the river features a nice mix of scenery through this area. Paddlers begin the day in the canal and make their way into the river and through some wooded areas. For the first time, the sojourn lunch will be at Valley Forge National Historic Park, where the program will be on a new pedestrian bridge being built across the river.  Later in the day sojourners encounter some interesting bridges and urban settings. At dinner, in West Conshohocken, they'll hear about the network of trails in the Philadelphia area known as The Circuit.

Friday June 13 (16 miles: West Conshohocken to Philadelphia). This may be the final day, but it's also one of the best days of the sojourn! Sojourners love having the opportunity to paddle with the Philadelphia skyline as their backdrop and alongside the iconic Boathouse Row. If you need another reason to paddle on Friday, lunch is at the historic Philadelphia Canoe Club, where you eat surrounded by some amazing antique boats. You'll also hear a presentation on the Schuylkill River Boardwalk, an amazing project that extends the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia by  The final takeout is Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row, but before that the sojourners always organize for everyone's favorite sojourn photo, the Sojourn Salute (see photo below).

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