The 22nd Sojourn Will Be Here in August
Registration is Open!REGISTER NOW!
The 2020 Schuylkill River Virtual Sojourn will feature two evening video live streams on August 9 and 16, hosted by longtime Sojourn Guide Matt Stan of Bad Adventures. A tentative in-person guided paddling experience will be offered with a choice of three separate days: Aug 7, 8 or 9. Although different from previous years, the Sojourn will be an unforgettable and adventurous journey of the river.
Traditionally, the Sojourn begins in Schuylkill Haven and ends in Philadelphia. Each of the five counties the Schuylkill River flows through will be showcased in this year’s Virtual Sojourn. SRG is excited to announce the production of “Schuylkill Soaring,” an original short film celebrating recreation on the river through stunning imagery from land, water and air. Starting in the lush landscapes of the headwaters in Schuylkill County, we will take a virtual journey through both rural and urban communities in Berks, Montgomery, and Chester Counties, with a paddler’s arrival at the picturesque Philadelphia skyline.
The short film will premiere during the 2020 Schuylkill River Virtual Sojourn this August. Registration opens June 25, 2020. More details about this year’s event are below.
The community will be able to join the 22nd Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn right from the comfort of their own home through a digital live streaming service. Whether you’re new to paddling the Schuylkill or you’ve been part of the Schuylkill River Sojourn for decades – don’t miss this one-of-a-kind online event!
Video Live Streams & Schuylkill Soaring Short Film
The Virtual Sojourn features two video live streams on the evenings of Sunday, August 9, and Sunday, August 16. The crown jewel of the Virtual Sojourn is the premiere screening of the short film “Schuylkill Soaring,” which will celebrate the river from Schuylkill County through downtown Philadelphia. Viewers will also bond over stories – both heartfelt and hilarious – told by past Sojourners. Participants will face-off against each other in a live, Schuylkill Trivia tournament for the best bragging rights. Through video interviews, attendees of the virtual event will meet characters who paddlers have grown to love during the annual Schuylkill River Sojourn.
A Digital Experience for All
SRG is creating a digital experience to help seasoned sojourners reminisce about what has been often described as an adult summer camp, while also introducing newcomers to this region’s premiere paddling event. Attendees can expect to experience the 112-mile guided paddle virtually through documentaries with in-depth interviews, riveting footage of the Schuylkill River, and even a photo contest. A Schuylkill Selfie Contest will be embedded into this year’s Sojourn. People can take a picture of their individual paddling trip on the Schuylkill River and enter the contest for a chance to win a free day on the 2021 Sojourn when we’re back on the water full time. Submitted photos will be shown during one of the virtual Sunday evenings. More details to come!
How to Join Live Stream Sessions
The virtual sojourn experience will begin at 7 p.m. on the evenings of August 9 and August 16. Participants will be able to easily join the Virtual Sojourn live stream sessions from a web browser such as Google, Firefox or Microsoft Edge. A link to connect will be sent to the email address used to register. Registered participants will receive a website link that can be accessed from their phone, computer or other mobile devices. No special software is required.
Registration opens on June 25, 2020. Registration includes access to both virtual evenings on August 9 and 16, and a memorable 2020 Sojourn T-shirt shipped directly to each participant. The cost is $29. Registrants will also have the option to add on a day of in-person paddling. If Montgomery County is in the green phase by the time of the event, then the group paddle will be offered with a choice of three separate days: Aug 7, 8 or 9. Each day will be limited to 25 participants. The cost for this add-on will be an additional $49. The on-water event will include a full day of paddling by expert guides and a provided boxed lunch.
The guided paddle will be available as an add-on to the 2020 Schuylkill River Virtual Sojourn. It will take place along the section of river between Pottstown and Phoenixville. Schuylkill River Greenways is unable to organize in-person paddle trips on the other river sections due to adjustments necessary because of COVID-19 restrictions and summer water levels. If Montgomery County is in the green phase by the time of the event, then the group paddle will be offered with a choice of three separate days: Aug 7, 8 or 9. Each day will be limited to 25 participants. The itinerary will remain the same for each of the three days. Participants will launch from Riverfront Park in Pottstown in the morning, stop for boxed lunches at Victory Park in Royersford and have a final take-out in Phoenixville. Kayaks will be available to rent for an additional fee. Attendees will be required to practice social distancing and wear masks when not actively paddling or eating lunch. More guidelines for this event will be made available during registration. The cost for this add-on will be an additional $49. The on-water event will include a full day of paddling by expert guides and a provided boxed lunch.
The 22nd Annual Schuylkill River Virtual Sojourn is scheduled for August 9 and 16 with the option for an in-person paddling experience tentatively scheduled for August 7, 8 or 9. The Sojourn was originally planned to take place from June 6 – 12, 2020. Under normal circumstances, the 7-day, 112-mile guided paddle begins from Schuylkill Haven and ends seven days later in Philadelphia. Participants can register for one day or the entire week. Organized by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, the sojourn has evolved into a popular paddling event that has allowed more than 4,000 people from 25 states and four foreign countries to paddle the revolutionary river. The details below describe a normally scheduled Sojourn and do not necessarily apply to the 2020 event.
Sojourn Registration Includes:
Three meals a day and water/Gatorade at water stops ~ Expert guides ~ Camping arrangements ~ Shuttle back to cars ~ Gear transported for multi-day participants ~ Educational programs and/or musical entertainment at all lunch and evening stops.
The 21st Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn Took Place From June 1 – 7, 2019
More than 200 paddlers participated in the 21st Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn, with about 70 making the entire 112-mile journey from Schuylkill Haven to Philadelphia. The sojourn is summer camp, a regional history exploration, and bonding experience all rolled into one. People of all experience levels participated in this year’s event including several beginners who paddled the river for the first time.
In addition to paddling on the water, sojourners learned more about the national heritage area through educational programming provided at all lunch and evening stops. This year’s sojourn theme was “Our Working River.” The river played an important role in the Industrial Revolution. The abundant natural resources and the fast moving waters of the river and its tributaries fueled the nation’s economic engine for centuries.
For the fourth year, Schuylkill River Greenways teamed up with the Schuylkill Action Network to hire a Sojourn Steward who researched historic, industrial places along the Schuylkill River and shared how those places have changed and impacted the river. Check out the Schuylkill Action Network Instagram page for recaps and photos from this year’s steward Julia Aguilar.
Thank you to the Spring-Ford Area School District Ram Country TV Station for creating this video about the 2019 Sojourrn stop in Royersford.
2019 Sojourn In the News
- The Mercury – Paddle on the Schuylkill River Sojourn for free
- The Mercury – More than 200 sojourners to paddle the Schuylkill River
- Reading Eagle – Schuylkill River Sojourn embarks in Schuylkill Haven
- Republican Herald – Schuylkill River Sojourn unique “summer camp”
- Republican Herald – Sojourners launch annual voyage down Schuylkill River
- 69 News WFMZ-TV – Kayakers stop in Berks during 21st Schuylkill River Sojourn
- Reading Eagle – Schuylkill River Sojourn stops in Reading to honor one of its scouts
- The Phoenix – Montgomery County commissioner among Schuylkill River Sojourners
- The Post – Schuylkill Paddlers’ Arrival Expected Tonight
- Times Herald – Local representatives and paddlers celebrate new Bridgeport water landing during sojourn
- Philadelphia Inquirer
Special Thanks to Our 2019 Sojourn Sponsors
Gold Paddler Sponsor: Reading Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad Company
Silver Paddler Sponsor: Tompkins VIST Bank * The Lewis Group
Bronze Paddler Sponsor: PA American Water * The Bad Adventure Company * Take It Outdoors Adventures * Trace Pheasantry, Inc.
Kayaker Sponsors: Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau * Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation * O’Donnell, Weiss & Mattei, P.C. * Tooth of the Lion * Wrigley’s Business Products & Services LLC * Aqua PA * Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission * Philadelphia Water Department
Patrons: Warrick Jewelers * Traffic Planning & Design, Inc * Main Line Sail and Power Squadron * Montgomery County Community College * Rodger Krause CPA Incorporated
Donors: Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania, PC * Weaver, Reckner & Reinhart Association * Toll Brothers * Boyer Engineering LLC * Spotts Insurance Group Inc. * DESCCO Design & Construction * Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust * DBA The Swisher Studio * Chester County Ciders
Friends: Pottstown Parks & Recreation * Bause Catered Events
The Sojourn is also made possible through funding from the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) and the National Park Service.
The Schuylkill River Sojourn is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, under the administration of the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
About the Sojourn
The Schuylkill River Sojourn is an annual 112-mile guided canoe/kayak trip on the Schuylkill River that begins in rural Schuylkill Haven and ends seven days later in Philadelphia’s Boathouse Row. Participants paddle 14-18 miles per day and can register for the entire trip or as little as one day.
Sometimes it is wet and wild. At other times it is peaceful and inspiring. There are a few rapids, calm water, plenty of laughs, songs at the campsites, and celebrations in the river towns. There is a little bit of everything for paddlers throughout the week-long sojourn that begins the first weekend of June. And though the same route is paddled every year, a different river greets us every June.
FREE Sojourn Opportunities
There are opportunities for people to participate in the Schuylkill River Sojourn at no cost to them. Click on the tabs below to learn about the Bill Trace Scholarship and the Sojourn Steward position, both ways to paddle in the sojourn for free.
In memory of Bill Trace, a longtime sojourner and devoted member of Schuylkill River Greenways, a fund has been established through the generosity of his family and friends enabling us to offer a free one-day trip on the annual Schuylkill River Sojourn to three people who have never before been on the sojourn. This scholarship is only open to those 18 years and older. To apply, you will need to fill out the one page application which will be available when registration opens. The application deadline is TBD.
The Schuylkill Action Network (SAN) will provide a full-week scholarship ($700 value) for an enthusiastic individual with paddling, photography, and social media experience to photo-document and help identify plants and wildlife along the river during the week-long sojourn excursion. The steward will be asked to present his or her findings on the final evening.
Sojourn Steward Expectations
- Participate in the entire Schuylkill River Sojourn (Sat, June 6 – Fri, June 12, 2020).
- Research historic, industrial places along the Schuylkill River. Be prepared to share how those places have changed and what impacts they had/have on the river.
- Take photos of the historic places now. You can use either your own camera or the waterproof camera provided.
- Post social media updates to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram during lunch and evening breaks. (E.g., show "then and now" side by side photos; click here for an example)
- Interact with sojourn participants - teach them about industry along the Schuylkill River over the years, how it's changed and what impacts it has had on the environment.
- Present at the end of Sojourn about your experience.
All materials and supplies will be provided to the Sojourn Steward by the Schuylkill Action Network (SAN).
Application Deadline is TBD
The application will be available when registration opens
For questions, please contact Virginia Vassalotti at email@example.com or 302-655-4990 x121.
In 2016 the Sojourn was honored with a national Public Outreach Project Award from the American Society for Environmental History. Since its inception in 1999, the sojourn has introduced about 4,000 people from 25 states and four countries to paddling the river.Sponsorship Opportunities
Full Trip $655 per adult; $490 per child ages 8-15. Not recommended for children under 8.
Individual Days $100 per adult for Sat-Thurs. (Friday is $90, since no dinner is included); $75 per child ages 8-15 for Sat-Thurs. ($65 for Friday).
Members receive a 10% discount. All registrations received after May 17 will be charged a $10 late fee. No registrations accepted after May 24.
If you wish to rent a kayak, please visit the Take it Outdoors rental information and kayak reservation form.