MONT CLARE -- The Schuylkill Canal Association (SCA) will be hosting a Boat Float in conjunction with their monthly Locktender's Open House this Sunday.
During the Boat Float, boaters will take out their canoes and kayaks onto the canal and make a 90-minute, five-mile loop on the water trail, starting and ending at the Locktender's House.
According to Gary Drennen, SCA volunteer water guide, they are anticipating around 20 boats to go out for the Float.
"We're looking to start around 1:15 p.m. at the Lock 60," said Drennen. "We'll go down the Schuylkill River, past Route 29, and all the way to Longford Road. We'll take the boats out, carry them about 300 yards, put them in the canal and paddle back up."
Drennen recommended that boaters be prepared for the anticipated hot, sunny weather.
"They should wear light colored shirts, shorts, hats, sunscreen, and bring lots of water," he said. "Also things that they don't mind getting wet. Life jackets are a definite
Whether experienced or a novice, Drennen said the Float is a great experience for both.
"This is perfect for both the experienced boaters to the novice," he said. "This is an opportunity to come out and have fun on the water. I like any excuse to get out on the water and to help others get out there as well. It shows them another side of Phoenixville and the area.
"The Float is popular because it's easy access to the river. The Float is nice and it's one of a kind. With the loop, you can park at the beginning and make you way back around to it."
Drennen said he's been canoeing most of his life, and doing the loop for the past six years.
"I was just amazed at the scenery when I first did it," he said. "I was new to the area and Phoenixville wasn't so pretty. I've seen the stark difference from then to it is now. It's now a nice slice of nature compared to what it used to be."
There may be light refreshments available at the Locktender's House.
For nearly 11 years, the SCA has hosted monthly open houses at the Locktender's House at Lock 60 in Mont Clare. The property extends three miles, from Black Rock Dam to Port Providence.
The Locktender's House was erected in 1846, and has been maintained by the SCA since 1980.
According to SCA Executive Director Betsy Daley, the Locktender's House itself is furnished and maintained to reflect the period of the lock's operation, from 1860 up to 1900.
The house features antiques such as a lantern left by the last locktender family, as well as a piano, the only original piece of woodwork left there.
The restoration efforts of the SCA have made the lock a popular attraction for visitors, whether they are coming to enjoy the historical significance of the site or to enjoy the park to fish, jog, or bicycle.
"We always love to see people come down to visit the canal," said Daley.
Boat rentals are available through the Port Providence Paddle, 610-935-2750, or www.canoeandkayak.biz/trips.htm.
For more information on the Boat Float, contact the SCA at 610-917-0021 or visit the Web site at www.schuylkillcanal.com.