Ganshahawny Access to Pottstown Riverfront Park
Difficulty: Easy. Travel time: 1.5 to 2 hours, plus shuttling of vehicles. Water Level at USGS gauge #01472000 (Pottstown): Min. 1.1 ft; Good 2.6 ft.
This short trip is an especially good one for beginners and families. At normal water levels, this stretch is almost entirely slow-moving flatwater, with only one or two minor riffles and no real hazards or obstructions. It is almost always paddleable in summer, even when water levels are too low in other sections. The landings in this section offer relatively-easy put-ins and take-outs. Plus, there are several family-friendly attractions nearby (see below).
Ganshahawny Access (RM 57.8, RL) has a small, short, concrete ramp that is easy to launch from, but it does drop off abruptly on the sides and at the end. So be aware of that when you are walking near the edges.
You will parallel US-422 most of the way into Pottstown, but this busy 4-lane highway doesn’t seem to take too much away from the natural experience. It’s still a pleasant paddle despite a little road noise.
Pottstown Riverfront Park’s gently-sloped riverbank (RM 53.9 on RL) is your take-out (The river bed here can be quite mucky not far from shore, so a sideways exit onto the beach is better!) The offices of the Schuylkill River Greenways are in the big brick building across the lawn and parking lot from the take-out spot. This building also houses the River of Revolutions Interpretive Center, an entertaining and informative mini-museum featuring interactive exhibits, maps, video monitors, wall panels, and family-friendly displays on the history, geography, and recreational opportunities of the Schuylkill River watershed. Call 484-945-0200 for hours of operation.
Riverfront Park is also the home base of Take it Outdoors, the official outfitter partner of the Schuylkill River Greenways. You may have already participated in one of TIO’s kayak rentals, shuttle services, and/or guided or self-guided river trips to or from here, but if not, find out more at TakeItOutdoorsAdventures.com or stop by and check out their new digs!
Although your day on the river has ended here, other family-friendly side-trips await nearby, including the Carousel at Pottstown, Pottsgrove Manor, Colebrookdale Railroad, and the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles (see A Paddler’s Guide to the Schuylkill River Water Trail).