24th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn Comes to Montco

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river sojurn
Image via Glen Tompkinson.
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About 250 people total are paddling on the 24th Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn. Participants are joining from 13 different states, and as far away as Hawaii. About 65 paddlers will make the full 112-mile journey. Daily attendance numbers are high.

For safety reasons, about 120 boats are allowed on the water each day and most days are at or near capacity.

This year’s Sojourn is a seven-day journey, after having modified versions in 2020 and 2021. Participants chose to do the entire 112-mile paddle, some of the trip, or as little as one day.

The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area organizes the popular paddling event. This year’s Sojourn began in Schuylkill Haven on June 18, 2022. From there, kayaks and canoes travel downriver through Schuylkill, Berks, Montgomery, and Chester Counties, and end at Boathouse Row in Philadelphia on June 24, 2022.

This year’s theme is “River of Refuge.” The program itinerary includes a discussion about birds of prey and amphibians, a lesson about Valley Forge National Historical Park, and a presentation about Wampum belts made by Indigenous Native Americans. The Sojourn will also include activities such as sunrise yoga and making s’mores over bonfires.

The paddling event has rapids, calm water, laughs, and much more.

The annual sojourn helps connect people to the valuable resource that is the Schuylkill River, so they are motivated to protect it. The river is a critical natural resource and a source of drinking water for more than 1.5 million people.

For more information about the sojourn, visit here.

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Day 4- Tuesday, June 21, 2022

13.7 miles: Gibraltar to Pottstown

Sojourn Mentor Program

Morning: At 8 a.m., scholarship recipients from Philadelphia and New Jersey will be paired with a Sojourn mentor. (Use 1130 Old River Road Birdsboro, PA 19508 for GPS)

Allegheny Aqueduct Park Launch: 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: Morlatton Village Arrival: 11:50 a.m. (Use 31 Old Philadelphia Pike, Douglassville 19518 for GPS).

Lunch Program: Barry Lee will bring Wampum belts for sojourners to view, while he speaks about how the belts were used to mark agreements between Indigenous Native Americans and new settlers from Europe, such as William Penn. 

DinnerPottstown Riverfront Park arrival: 3:00 p.m. (Use 140 College Drive, Pottstown 19464 for GPS). Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence will attend dinner.

Evening Program: At 7 p.m., Local band the Tommy Froelich Trio will perform for an evening of live music along the river.

DAY 4 SOJOURN VIEWING FROM POTTSTOWN BRIDGE

When: Tuesday – June 21, 2022. Paddlers are expected to arrive between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Where: Hanover Street Bridge, the bridge entering Pottstown from the 422 Exit on Hanover Street. Use “196 South Hanover St., Pottstown, PA 19464” for GPS.

Parking: Parking available at Pottstown Riverfront Park located at 140 College Drive.

Day 5- Wednesday, June 22, 2022

17.8 miles: Pottstown to Mont Clare Lock 60

Sojourn Mentor Program

Morning: At 6:30 a.m., the Samana Holistic Center will provide Sunrise Yoga along the Schuylkill River and Trail. At 8 a.m., youth from the Pottstown YWCA will be paired with a Sojourn mentor. (Use 140 College Drive, Pottstown 19464 for GPS). Pottstown Mayor Stephanie Henrick will be joining the paddle on this day.

Pottstown Riverfront Park Launch: 9:00 a.m.

Lunch: Royersford Victory Park Arrival: 12:25 p.m. (Use Victory Park, Royersford, PA 19468 for GPS).

Lunch Program: Royersford Borough Council President Anil Dham will give an update about the restoration of a historic rail trestle bridge that will become a pedestrian crossing.

DinnerMont Clare Arrival 3:15 p.m. (Use Lock 60 Recreation Area, Mont Clare 19453 for GPS).

Evening Program: At 7 p.m., Marie Haigh, Chairwoman of Pottstown Community Arts, will lead a collaborative group art project incorporating leaves and spray paint.

DAY 5 SOJOURN VIEWING FROM ROYERSFORD BRIDGE

When: Wednesday – June 22, 2021. Paddlers are expected to pass underneath the bridge between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Where: Bridge Street Bridge, the bridge connecting Spring City and Royersford. Use Spring City River Park “90 E. Bridge St., Spring City, PA 19475” for GPS.

Parking: Parking available on 1st Avenue.

Day 6- Thursday, June 23, 2022

14 miles: Mont Clare to West Conshohocken

Morning: Mont Clare Launch: 9: 00 a.m. (Use Lock 60 Recreation Area, Mont Clare 19453 for GPS).

Lunch: Valley Forge National Historical Park (Betzwood Picnic Area) Arrival: 11:30 a.m.

(Use Betzwood Park, Norristown 19403 for GPS)

Lunch Program: National Park Service Ranger Adam Gresek will discuss the ultimate place of refuge – the history of Valley Forge.

Dinner: West Conshohocken Arrival: 4:15 p.m. (Use Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken 19428 for GPS).

DAY 6 SOJOURN VIEWING FROM NORRISTOWN BRIDGE

When: Thursday – June 23, 2022. Paddlers expected to pass underneath Sullivan’s Bridge between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Where: Sullivan’s Bridge, the bridge connecting Valley Forge and the Betzwood Park. Use “Sullivan’s Bridge, Norristown, PA 19403” for GPS.

Parking: Parking available at Betzwood Park or the Valley Forge Visitors Center.

Morning launch for Schuylkill River Sojourn is at 9 a.m. daily. Please Note: Below is a list of approximate times. River and other conditions may impact times listed.

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