What is the Schuylkill River Sojourn?

The Schuylkill River Sojourn is the annual 112-mile guided kayak/canoe trip that begins where the water trail does, in Schuylkill Haven, PA.  The trip ends seven days later at the end of the iconic Boathouse Row in Philadelphia, just miles from where the Schuylkill connects with the Delaware River.  The Sojourn includes meals, camping, gear storage, shuttles, and more.  Now our signature event, the first trip was held as a fundraiser for what was then known as the Schuylkill Greenways Association.  In 2024, as we mark the 26th year, The Schuylkill River Sojourn has become the stuff of legend and a destination for paddlers across the country and for good reason.

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The Schuylkill River Sojourn is a singular experience that cannot be duplicated.

About 75-80 people join us each year to make the full trip, leaving their cars and their cares in Schuylkill Haven.  They immerse themselves in the beauty of our beloved watershed and the experiences that only our Sojourn can provide.  The camaraderie of the Sojourn is unparalleled-creating what we like to call “The Sojourn Spirit.”  It’s evident in the warm embraces of old friends greeting each other on the first day in Schuylkill Haven, in the helping hands of veteran paddlers carrying boats over a portage for new sojourners, in the families that have raised their kids attending their event and now bring their grandchildren, and in the familiar faces of community groups who welcome us and serve meals at our many stops from Schuylkill County to Philly.  In 2023, our youngest full trip sojourner was 17 and our eldest was 82!  This experience is for everyone.

Whether you join for the week or just a day, you will feel the Sojourn Spirit.  Maybe you will try the wild sections in Schuylkill County-navigating the famous chutes and enjoying the traditional spaghetti dinner at the Port Clinton Firehouse.  You might choose to do the suburban sections in Berks and Montco-only to find out that our Schuylkill (known by the Lenni Lenape people as the Hidden River) feels like another world as it winds through towns like Reading, Pottstown and Norristown. You can even join us for the final paddle into Philly for that iconic city skyline backdrop.

What does a day look like on the Sojourn?

Each day, our participants paddle between 14-18 miles, with support from our in-house recreation partner, Take it Outdoors.  Highly trained river guides ensure the safety of all our paddlers from the safety briefing in the morning to pulling boats out at the end of the day.  With CPR, First Aid, and water specific certifications, they are prepared for all situations.  A lead boat heads up the trip, with a sweep following at the end to be sure all paddlers stay with the group.

Take it Outdoors supports our sojourners on land as well-carrying gear from one landing to another, shuttling sojourners who are moving their vehicles each day, and reminding everyone to keep their car keys with them!  Land support also includes any medical needs like blisters or aches and pains-our dedicated medical support is there to help.


Each night, our Sojourners make camp at a different spot in the watershed.  Anyone paddling is welcome to join the night before and camp out to get a jump start on their Sojourn experience.  Schuylkill Haven Park on Friday night is the true start of each Sojourn-you have to be there!  There is no charge for camping, but you must bring, set up, and break down your own gear at each site.  Take it Outdoors delivers your gear to the next site each day so if you paddle from Pottstown to Lock 60 your off-water gear will be waiting for you there.


All that paddling definitely builds an appetite and we feed our Sojourners very well.  Your trip will include 3 meals starting with breakfast the first morning you paddle.  Many of our meals are served by community groups from the towns we visit along the way-a reciprocal tradition that both groups look forward to.  Some of the favorite meals are the Port Clinton Spaghetti Dinner, fancy dinner in Pottstown, and rib night in Conshohocken!

So, yes, the Sojourn is a guided paddle with meals and camping included-but it’s so much more than that.  Join us this year to experience the Sojourn Spirit for yourself.


Itinerary and more!