The 23rd Annual Schuylkill River Sojourn is a 5-day guided canoe and kayak paddle with a wealth of learning opportunities and fun on the Schuylkill River. Participants paddle 14 -18 miles per day and can register for the entire trip or as little as one day. This year’s Sojourn begins in Jim Dietrich Park (located in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County) on July 31, 2021 and ends in Philadelphia on Aug. 4, 2021. Traditionally, the Sojourn is a 7-day event that begins in Schuylkill County, but adjustments have been made to the 2021 event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizers from the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area have adjusted the event because of the pandemic. Organizers said the later start is to give people more time to get vaccinated and for COVID-19 cases to decrease, which will make it possible for more people to attend.
Past sojourns have started in Schuylkill County and have had people from many states register. The Sojourn, now in its 23rd year, has evolved into a popular paddling event that has allowed more than 4,000 people from 25 states and four foreign countries to paddle.
Your Sojourn registration includes three meals a day, water and Gatorade at stops, expert guides, camping arrangements, shuttle back to your vehicle, gear transported for multi-day participants plus educational programs, music or games at all lunch and evening stops.
For more information: Schuylkill River Sojourn | Schuylkill River Greenways
NATURE NUGGET: The start of summer always signifies the time when our state insect — the Firefly aka Lightning Bug — starts peppering lawns and fields with its presence. Fireflies emit light mostly to attract mates, although they also communicate for other reasons as well, such as to defend territory and warn predators away. In some firefly species, only one sex lights up. In most, however, both sexes glow; often the male will fly, while females will wait in trees, shrubs and grasses to spot an attractive male. If she finds one, she’ll signal it with a flash of her own.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”