Oh No! The Sojourn Weekend Days are full? Try a Mid-Week Day

It happens every year, and 2018 is no exception. Only hours after registration opened up for the 20th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn the weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) of the seven-day trip (June 2-8) sold out. Sure, everybody wants to paddle on the weekend. But, to keep things safe we allow only about 100-110 boats per day. Often, we wind up turning people away on Saturday, Sunday and Monday,  while Tuesday through Friday fill up more slowly–or sometimes not at all.

Keep this in mind: there are some clear advantages to paddling on Tuesday through Friday. Those days tend to be less crowded, and therefore better for beginners or Sojourn newbies. Wait times at portages and rest stops and shorter. And, there’s plenty of good paddling, great food, and fun camaraderie.

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. This year’s sojourn theme is “Celebrating 20 Years,” with presentations focusing on a 20-year perspective on the river, sojourn and trails.
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Riverfront Park
 Tuesday June 5 (13.9 miles: Gibraltar to Pottstown)

New to the sojourn? Tuesday is a great day to try it out!  It’s an easy, scenic paddle along a stretch of river frequented by eagles. The lunch stop is at Historic Morlatton Village, where you can dine on the lawn beside Berks County’s oldest home. The lunch presentation will feature Schuylkill River Greenways Trail Projects Manager Bob Folwell who will give a 20-year perspective of the Schuylkill River Trail. And best of all, Tuesday night will feature a special 20-year anniversary celebration with dinner by Bause Catered Events and music by the river by the band Chestnut Grove.

Lock 60
Wednesday June 6. (17.8 miles: Pottstown to Mont Clare Lock 60)  

Wednesday features one of the Sojourn’s most unique highlights: Sojourners end the day by “locking through” the restored Lock 60 on the former Schuylkill Canal (see photo above). But, there’s also some pretty scenery and an enjoyable lunch setting  at Victory Park, in Royersford, where the presentation will focus on Royersford’s revitalized riverfront.  In the evening, paddlers camp out near the canal, eat spaghetti dinner at nearby St. Micheal’s Pavilion, and hear a presentation on the health of the river over 20 years.

Thursday June 7 (14 miles: Mont Clare to West Conshohocken)

 Paddlers begin the day in the canal and make their way into the river, stopping for lunch at Valley Forge National Historic Park where they will learn about the past and future of Schuylkill Banks in Philadelphia. This stop always features an entertaining free raffle by Stony Creek Anglers. Later in the day sojourners encounter some interesting bridges and urban settings. At dinner, in West Conshohocken, they’ll eat an amazing barbecue dinner served up by the Rib House.

Friday June 9 (16 miles: West Conshohocken to Philadelphia). 

The final day of the sojourn is also one of the best. Sojourners love having the opportunity to paddle into the Philadelphia skyline. If you need another reason to kayak on Friday, lunch is at the historic Philadelphia Canoe Club (above), where you eat surrounded by some amazing antique boats. The final takeout is Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row, a really perfect place to end your journey.