Lock 60 Loop
Difficulty: Easy. Travel time: 1.5 to 2 hours, including portage. Water Level at USGS gauge #01472000 (Pottstown): Min. 1.1 ft; Good 3.0 ft.
This popular, 4-mile, river/canal loop combines an easy, scenic downriver run on the Schuylkill and a peaceful return on the Oakes Reach Canal (see map below). To begin, launch into the river from the gravel parking lot near the restored, Schuylkill Navigation canal lock #60 (Street Access: 40.135810,-75.507655; River Access: 40.144801,-75.509052). Paddle 2.1 miles downriver and take out at the Longford Park access on RL (Look for the overhead wires and a large “Portage Trail” sign that marks the take-out spot, or use these coordinates: 40.126708,-75.48607). Then carry, drag, or wheel your boat on the grassy 0.1-mile portage trail to the canal. Put in from the dock and paddle 2 miles back up the canal to the Lock 60 dock … to complete the loop!
NOTE: The canal can be paddled even during periods of unfavorably low or moderately-high water levels on the river, because it self-levels and does not have a significant current. It can be accessed from docks at Lock 60, at the opposite end of the canal near Longford Park, and at the outfitter (SUP/kayak rentals available) next to Fitzwater Station on Walnut Street in Port Providence.
Map excerpt from “A Paddler’s Guide to the Schuylkill River Water Trail“