Each year the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) awards Pennsylvania River Sojourn mini-grants.
As a nationally unique program, the Pennsylvania Sojourns reach over 4,000 people, paddle over 500 miles of rivers, offer more than 100 educational programs, and distribute more than $60,000 in grants across the state.
A guided paddling trip, each sojourn that applied needed to incorporate educational programming and be open to all participants.
Fifteen sojourns across the state were presented with mini-grants this year that will be held over the course of the next three months. Each sojourn and a brief description of each is listed below:
The 16th Annual Ohiopyle Over The Falls Festival will be held Aug. 22, 2015.
Whitewater paddlers nationwide will gather to race and freestyle over the spectacular 18-foot waterfall in the picturesque mountain village of Ohiopyle. Spectators are invited to watch paddlers sprint and cartwheel, end-over-end, off the waterfall.
Other events for the day include the Falls Under Lights, town party, live music, and silent auction. There are also opportunities for biking, hiking, camping, viewing magnificent scenery, taking spectacular photos, and partaking in historic and cultural activities.
Please visit www.FallsRace.com for more information and registration details.
The 18th Annual Alle-Kiski-Connie River Sojourn will be held from May 14 through May 17, 2015.
Enjoy a scenic river adventure, paddling through the beautiful Allegheny, Kiskiminetas, and Conemaugh Valleys. Share in the rich heritage of these unique waterways, while relaxing and enjoying excellent food, experienced safety guides, amid a family-friendly environment! The sojourn is organized by the Crooked Creek Environmental Learning Center and is administered by the Armstrong Educational Trust.
Participate in the entire sojourn or just enjoy a portion of it. One, two, and three day packages are available.
Visit www.akcsojourn.org for more information and registration details.
The 16th annual Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers Sojourn will be held from June 4 through June 7, 2015.
The Sojourn offers up to four days of mostly flat paddling along the borders of Cambria, Westmoreland, Indiana, and Armstrong Counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Paddle through a river corridor rich in scenery and history, view spectacular and little known gorges, and stop in historic communities like Blairsville, Saltsburg, and Apollo. The sojourn is appropriate for both new and experienced paddlers, and is a great way to learn about the rivers, history, culture, and recreation resources.
Visit http://www.conemaughvalleyconservancy.org/recreation/skcs.html for more information and registration details.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) River Sojourn will be held from May 15 through May 17, 2015.
BSA will be offering the program to all boy scouts within the area. There will be camping at Hornbrooke Park in Bradford County on Friday night. Saturday includes a trip to French Azilum, an historic site along the Susquehanna River. During the paddle the boy scouts will stop to do cleanups and partake in environmental educational programs. There will be historic education presentations done at both Hornbrooke Park and French Azilum.
Endless Mountains Heritage Region will be hosting the event. The kayaks and canoes will be supplied by Endless Mountains Outfitters. Registration will be done through the BSA.
For more information visit Endless Mountains Heritage Region – www.endlessmountainsheritage.org; Endless Mountains Outfitters – www.emo444.com; Boys Scouts of America – www.scouting.org
The French Creek Summer Solstice Sojourn will take place from June 20 through June 21, 2015.
The French Creek Summer Solstice Sojourn is a two-day, one-night paddling trip down one of Pennsylvania’s most unique and important waterways. The trip features educational presentations, musical entertainment, delicious food, and fellowship.
Visit http://frenchcreekwatershed.com/sojourn-signup.aspx for more information and registration details.
The second Annual Loyalhanna Sojourn will be held on May 30, 2015.
Paddle a nine-mile section of the Loyalhanna Creek from the Cardinal park launch site in Latrobe to the new Ball Field launch site in New Alexandria. The day will include shuttle service, refreshments, boater safety, environmental education, and a free concert and community event.
Visit http://www.latroberecreation.org/images/pdf/pg9.pdf for more information and registration details.
The Mon River Spring Paddle will be held on May 30, 2015.
The Spring Paddle includes safety instructions, interpretation on historic sites and industrial artifacts seen on and near the river, a boxed lunch, and a stand up paddling demonstration.
The paddle is a key event in a weekend of activities planned for the Come Down to the River and Play. For a full list of events visit http://monrivertowns.com/comedowntotheriver/.
Visit www.monrivertowns.com for more information.
The Kids Pedal/Paddle will be held on August 19, 2015.
Pedal/Paddle is a “gateway” program to introduce people of all ages and abilities to bicycling the Schuylkill River Trail and paddling the Schuylkill River. Bikes (if needed) and kayaks are provided along with a safety and technique orientation for cycling on the trail and paddling on the river to insure all participants have a fun and safe experience.
This event is underwritten by a grant provided by PA Organization for Watershed and Rivers (POWR) and the LL Bean Outdoor Experience Mini Grant that encourages students and active teens to get out and explore nature through a series of activities.
The program will take approximately four hours (orientation and fitting for bikes and boats, lunch, program, etc.) and will be supervised by SRT, PEC, Phoenixville Green Team, Port Providence Paddle and PAL staff (perhaps some parents). Timeframe for the program is approximately 3.5 hours. Departing from Longford Park the group will pedal to Lock 60 outside of Phoenixville and have lunch and a program by a historian or someone from Fairmount Water Works about water quality.
The Annual Perkiomen Creek Sojourn will be held on June 6, 2015.
Paddle with the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy team along a seven-mile stretch of the Perkiomen Creek! Paddlers will learn about the human and natural history of the area, enjoy lunch, and have plenty of opportunities to view wildlife.
Visit www.perkiomenwatershed.org/perkiomen-creek-sojourn/ for more information and registration details.
INVISIBLE RIVER 2015 will be held on Aug. 29, 2015.
INVISIBLE RIVER is a performance and boating event celebrating the Schuylkill River. Audiences on the water and on the shore will witness live music and dance performances on the river’s banks and waters, as well as suspended above it from the Strawberry Mansion Bridge. Preceding the main performance, audiences will be led on a music processional along Randolph Creek to the boat launch on Kelly Drive, where local officials will speak.
Visit http://www.invisibleriver.org for more information.
The Schuylkill River Sojourn will be held from June 6 through June 12, 2015.
The Sojourn is a seven-day, 115-mile guided canoe and kayak trip on the Schuylkill River. Paddlers will explore Pennsylvania’s first Scenic River as it changes from a narrow waterway gently dropping out of the mountains in Schuylkill County to a wider and slower river as it flows into historic Philadelphia. Along the way, paddlers will encounter people, groups, and communities that care about the river as one of their most valued resources and recognize its importance and look forward to welcoming the sojourners each year.
Participants paddle 14-18 miles per day and can register for the entire trip or as little as one day.
Visit http://www.schuylkillriver.org/sojourn.aspx for more information and registration details.
The West Branch Susquehanna River Sojourn will be held from June 17 through June 21, 2015.
The Sojourn is a five-day educational paddling and cycling trip highlighting the beautiful scenery and special places along the river and Greenway. Paddlers will be guided through 47 miles of the breathtaking natural beauty along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. The sojourn will pass through the historic river towns of Jersey Shore, Williamsport, and Muncy; with much of the trip passing along rural and scenic areas. Along the way, local experts will educate sojourners about the area’s wildlife, geologic and cultural history, and local conservation efforts through river-side presentations and guided tours.
Join the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership for the whole trip or just one day.
Visit http://susquehannagreenway.org/paddle-pedal-sojourn for more information and registration details.
The Swatara Sojourn will be held from May 2 through May 3, 2015.
“Swatara, a Long Drink of Water” will take paddlers from Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, through Swatara State Park, and end at Swatara Watershed Park, Annville, Lebanon County. Paddlers will travel 30 miles over two days and sleep on the banks of the Swatara Creek. Paddlers will visit the rustic Bordner Cabin, see the Appalachian Trail bridge and canal locks. There will be fishing and boating demonstrations, workshops, and product demonstrations, and paddlers will have ample opportunities to view wildlife as well as work on their paddling technique.
Visit http://www.mbcomp.com/SWATARA/canoe/18thcanoe.htm for more information and registration details.
The 21st Delaware River Sojourn will be held from June 20 through June 27, 2015.
The Delaware River Sojourn gives people of all ages and experiences a chance to have a truly “hands-on” river adventure that includes a guided kayak (or canoe) paddle, camping, and educational programming. What makes the Delaware Sojourn unique is the combined efforts of local, regional, and federal partners, as well as individual volunteers, that come together to plan, host, and lead a very special eight days on and off the Delaware River. The Delaware Sojourn is an annual reunion of individuals who come together every year to celebrate the river, participate in a fun, outdoors event, and learn a little bit about our environment and how to give back.
Visit www.delawareriversojourn.org for more information and registration details.
Lehigh River Sojourn
The Lehigh River Sojourn will be held from June 26 through June 29, 2015
The sojourn is a 28-mile guided paddling trip on the Lehigh River hosted by Wildlands Conservancy. Beginning in the Pocono Mountains and ending in Northampton, sojourners travel through the metro-wilderness of the Lehigh River region and experience all of the treasures of nature – scenic views, visits from resident wildlife and a shared appreciation for preserving the environment. The trip provides the opportunity for participants to learn about what is being done to protect the Lehigh River and how they can take an active role in preserving our natural resources. The trip celebrates the history, importance, and significance of the Lehigh River to the region and beyond. Each day is filled with education programs on the important conservation work being done by Wildlands Conservancy to improve and enhance the natural resources of the Lehigh River.
Visit http://www.wildlandspa.org/education-and-recreation/2015-lehigh-river-sojourn/ for more information and registration details.