Schuylkill River Water Trail (PA)
Length: 147 miles
Waterways: length of the entire river to the confluence with the Delaware River in Philadelphia (split into Upper and Lower sections)
Accomodations: Camping in the Schuylkill River heritage Area is generally limited to State Parks, private campgrounds, and approved shelters along the Appalachian Trail. Currently there are no rustic camping facilities along the Schuylkill or its tributaries.
Paddling the Schuylkill River can be a fun way to exercise and enjoy the outdoors. The river is lined with farms, trees, and dotted with small towns and villages as it winds its way through Schuylkill and Berks Counties. Further south you'll find yourself paddling through manyof the region's small and mid-sized cities and experiencing the area's industrial past from the water's edge. The River winds its way through Valley Forge National Historical Park on its way to Philadelphia.
Public access points to the Schuylkill are marked as stops on the Schuylkill River Water Trail. These locations are publicly owned and maintained and meet Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission standards. Look for the oval medallion at these launch points. Water Trail maps and River Recreation guides can be purchased from SRHA in the River Store.
The river can be shallow and rocky at spots, so please be sure to check the water levels in the area you wish to paddle before putting in. Also, please note that there are 10 dams on the Schuylkill, and paddlers are required by law to portage around these dams. Portages can be lengthy in unimproved locations.
Regions to Visit:
- Coal Country
The region is best known for the vast quantities of hard anthracite coal that lay beneath the surface and helped fuel America's Industrial Revolution during the 19th and 20th centuries.
- The Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are the southernmost formation of the Appalachians and are part of the larger Kittatinny Ridge that extends into northern New Jersey.
- East Penn Valley
The East Penn Valley of Berks County is a region of lush farm fields, charming crossroads communities, and a rich Pennsylvania Dutch cultural tradition.
- Western Berks
The Tulpehocken Creek bisects this beautiful, lush region that was home to one of the earliest German settlements in North America.
- Greater Reading
The City of Reading is at the center of the region and serves as the county seat and is emerging as a magnet for the region's growing arts and cultural communities.
- Oley Valley
The Oley Valley is among the most unique and picturesque regions in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
- French & Pickering Valleys
The fields, forests, and communities that surround the French and Pickering Creeks are among the most scenic and historic in the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
- Perkiomen Valley
The Perkiomen and Unami Creeks flow out of the hills of eastern Montgomery County through a historically rich and culturally diverse part of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area.
- Skippack Valley
The Skippack Valley was one of the most heavily industrialized creeks in America, home to dozens of mills and factories throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Schuylkill River ends its journey winding through the City of Philadelphia, the fifth-largest city in the nation.
Schuylkill River Heritage Area
140 College Drive
Pottstown, PA 19464