Schuylkill Sojourn and Pedal/Paddle registration now open

File Photo by Brandie Kessler A sojourner passes beneath a foot bridge on the Schuylkill Canal in Mont Clare.

Whether you have a hankering to paddle your way down the Schuylkill River, or ride along its shores — or both — registration for two increasingly popular activities with the river as their backdrop are now ongoing.

Given that the Schuylkill is Pennsylvania’s River of the Year in 2014, both events are likely to be special.

The Schuylkill River Sojourn, the canoe/kayak trip from the river’s headwaters near Schuylkill Haven to its mouth in Philadelphia, will be held from June 7 to June 13 this year.

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And the dates for the “Pedal and Paddle” bike and kayak trips from Pottstown to Douglassville have been set as well.

The first will be held Saturday, May 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by June 28, July 26, Aug. 23 and Sept. 13.

SCHUYLKILL RIVER SOJOURN

The Schuylkill River Sojourn is a seven-day, 112-mile guided paddle from Schuylkill Haven to Boathouse Row in Philadelphia that is organized annually by the Schuylkill River Heritage Area. Participants can register for one day or the entire week.

During the first two weeks in April the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area will accept registrations from full-trip registrants only.

This is being done to ensure that people who wish do the full trip don’t miss out on the first two days, which fill up very quickly. Registration for all other participants will open April 15.

Registration can be completed online at: https://www.regonline.com/Register/Checkin.aspx?EventID=1510670

SCHUYLKILL RIVER PEDAL AND PADDLE

Registration for the Pedal and Paddle can occur up to one-week before the event, but space is limited to 15 people and these trips often fill up quickly. (You must be 16 or older to participate).

Registration can be completed online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/schuylkill-river-heritage-area-pedal-paddle-registration-10063549347

The trips include:

• 4.5 mile bike ride using Bike Pottstown’s yellow cruisers along the Schuylkill River Trail from Pottstown’s Riverfront Park to Historic Morlatton Village in Douglassville;

• Guided tour of Historic Morlatton Village;

• Boxed picnic lunch at Ganshahawny Park in Douglassville;

• Brief introduction to kayaking;

• Paddle back to Riverfront Park;

The cost is only $25 and includes the bikes, the kayaks, the kayaking gear and the lunch.

Each event begins with a 4.5 mile bike ride from Pottstown’s Riverfront Park to Historic Morlatton Village in Douglassville, using yellow cruisers from the Bike Pottstown bike share program.

Participants are given a guided tour of Morlatton Village, a historic village consisting of four 18th century buildings that have been restored or are in the process of being restored, one of which is the oldest home in Berks County.

The village is located directly off the trail and is owned by the Historic Preservation Trust of Berks County, which provides a tour guide during the event.

The buildings are only open to the public during special events.

From there, participants take a short bike ride to Douglassville’s Ganshahawny Park where they eat a picnic lunch (provided) and receive a brief introduction to kayaking from outfitter Doug Chapman of Take it Outdoors Adventure Group.

Then, they paddle back to Pottstown in kayaks along the Schuylkill River.

To begin, the group always meets at the Schuylkill River Heritage Area offices, located beside Riverfront Park, at 140 College Drive in Pottstown.

Registrants are asked to arrive a few minutes early, so they can sign a waiver and spend time in the River of Revolutions Interpretive Center, which is open during the event.

The tours are held rain or shine, however, if heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast the event may be canceled. If it becomes necessary to cancel, participants will be notified by email by early Saturday morning and a full refund.

All equipment, including bikes, helmets, kayaks, paddles and PFDs are provided. However, it is recommended that you bring the following items: water bottle, sunscreen, insect repellent, hat, water shoes and bike helmet, if you prefer to use your own.

For more information call the Schuylkill River Heritage Area at 484-945-0200, or email ckott@schuylkillriver.org.