The Annual Sojourn Will Return in July
Save the Dates for the 2021 Sojourn
The 23rd Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn will be a 5-day paddle. The paddling event will begin in Jim Dietrich Park on July 31, 2021 and end in Philadelphia on Aug. 4, 2021. People can register for one day, multiple days, or all five days. Registration will open in May. More details to come!
Adjustments have been made to the 2021 event because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of taking place during the first week of June, the Sojourn will begin on the last day of July. The Sojourn is starting later in the summer this year to allow more time for people to become vaccinated and for COVID cases to decrease, which will make it possible for more people to attend. The headwaters of the river tend to have decreased water flow and are more shallow later in the summer, making it difficult to navigate by boat. For this reason, the 2021 Sojourn will begin further downriver at Jim Dietrich Park.
We hope the 2022 Schuylkill River Sojourn will be back to normal, beginning the first full week of June. Traditionally, the Sojourn is a 7-day, 112-mile guided paddle that begins from Schuylkill Haven and ends seven days later in Philadelphia. 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 22nd Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn Took Place From Aug. 9 – Aug. 16.
The 22nd Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn went virtual for the first time in 2020 and featured two evening video live streams on August 9 and 16, hosted by longtime Sojourn Guide Matt Stan of Bad Adventures. About 150 people participated in the 2020 Sojourn. For the virtual event, SRG produced “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, the film included 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 premiered during the 2020 Schuylkill River Virtual Sojourn.
The virtual Sojourn also included a Schuylkill Trivia tournament, video interviews and a live auction of Schuylkill River water trail signs. An in-person guided paddling experience was offered on three separate days: Aug 14, 15 and 16. The paddle began at Pottstown Riverfront Park and ended in the Phoenixville Area. Participants received boxed lunches, practiced social distancing, and used masks.
For the first time, a Schuylkill Selfie Contest was embedded into the 2020 Virtual Sojourn. People took pictures of their individual paddling trip on the Schuylkill River (or any body of water) and entered the contest for a chance to win a free day on the 2021 Sojourn. People were asked to submit their most ridiculous, silliest, and outlandish paddling photo taken on a waterway. The funniest photos were chosen for the Top 10 Countdown, revealed during the Virtual Sojourn video live stream on Aug. 16, 2020. Although different from previous years, the 2020 Sojourn was an unforgettable and adventurous journey of the river.
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.Sponsorship Opportunities
About the Annual Schuylkill River 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.
Please Note: The 2020 Sojourn event was altered because of COVID-19 guidelines. These details describe a normally scheduled Sojourn and do not necessarily apply to the 2020 or 2021 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 302-655-4990 x121.
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
Thank you to the Spring-Ford Area School District Ram Country TV Station for creating this video about the 2019 Sojourrn stop in Royersford.
Public Outreach Project Award
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.