Schuylkill Sojourn Gives Paddlers a Glimpse into the World Below Their Kayaks

800 532 Stroud Water Research Center





From June 6-12, more than 200 paddlers will take a journey down the Schuylkill River. Along the way, they’ll learn about the fascinating river environment.

Pottstown, Pa. – The Schuylkill River Sojourn celebrates its 11th anniversary in June, and, as always, it will be a fun-filled, 113-mile paddle down the river.

This year, it will also be a weeklong science lesson. The Schuylkill River Heritage Area (SRHA), which hosts the sojourn annually, has teamed up with the Stroud Water Research Center to design programming entitled “Reading the River: The Science of the Schuylkill.” Through a series of presentations by scientists, sojourners will delve into the fascinating world that lies beneath their canoes and kayaks.

The Schuylkill River Sojourn is a seven-day guided canoe/kayak tour of the Schuylkill River. Participants begin in Schuylkill Haven on June 6, travel through the five-county (Schuylkill, Berks, Chester, Montgomery and Philadelphia) Schuylkill River National and State Heritage area, and end at Philadelphia’s Boat House Row on June 12.

Paddlers have chosen to register for the entire event or as little as one day.

The sojourn has always been a fusion of fun and discovery, unique in the region. Since its inception in 1999, the sojourn has attracted more than 1,500 participants and garnered support annually from over 70 public and private partners.

Paddlers not only discover unfamiliar places, but, through entertaining evening and lunch programs, they learn about the river: its history, its environment and its continued importance as a source of drinking water for over one million people.

“The Schuylkill River Sojourn is our annual, signature event,” said Kurt Zwikl, executive director of the SRHA. “Each year we offer new and different programs that emphasize just how valuable the Schuylkill River is to the people of this region.”

This year, sojourners paddling 14-18 miles per day will be joined by scientists from Stroud Water Research Center, who will give presentations about various aspects of the river environment at lunch and evening stops.

“The Schuylkill Sojourn is a great vehicle to get people to view the river as a resource — for recreation, industry and our drinking water,” said Bern Sweeney, director of the Stroud Water Research Center. “We’ve been studying the Schuylkill and its tributaries for more than 13 years and opportunities like this enable us to share our knowledge with the public, who plays an essential role in protecting this vital resource.”

Below is a sampling of programs planned:

  • Pre-sojourn events on June 5 in Schuylkill Haven featuring a chicken barbeque, ice cream social and optional tour for sojourners of the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville.
  • Daily presentations by scientists on aquatic life and the health of the Schuylkill.
  • Nightly programs, open to the public, combining food and educational experiences and, at some campsites, other entertainments.
  • Closing ceremonies at a Manayunk restaurant, a tour of the Philadelphia Canoe Club and final stretch along Boathouse Row.

The Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area is a non-profit organization that uses conservation, education, recreation, historic preservation and tourism as tools for community revitalization and economic development. For more information visit: