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Schuylkill River - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: May 2001
Nearest City: Reading, PA
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: crazyboy

Description:

A friend and I recently ran the Schukyll River Regatta river course.

Every April the Keystone Canoe Club holds an annual race on the Schukyll River called the Schukyll River Regatta. This is a race open to anyone from the beginner paddler to the advanced, and can be run by any type of paddling boat as well.

At racing pace, this stretch takes only about 2 hours on average. Paddling leisurely, it's works as a good half-day trip. A friend and I recently paddled this same stretch of river that the canoe club uses at a very leisurely pace and it took us about 4-5 hours.

The Schukyll River in this particular stretch is best ran in the spring or fall due to low water levels in the summer months, but if you have the opportunity to run it after a few good days of rain you may be able to go down in the summer as well. We were pushing it going as late as May 30th, but we managed to make it down the whole stretch without walking our boats.

This stretch of the river is typically surrounded by trees on each end, with occasional houses to pass by and bridges to cross under. The rumble of a nearby highway can be heard in the distance as you paddle downstream in some sections, but otherwise it's a fairly peaceful paddle. You're also likely to see many ducks, geese, blue herons, and other wildlife along the way.

Current hurdles of this stretch of river:

  • dodging rocks in shallow water
  • avoiding shallow spots
  • tackling a few ripples of whitish water
  • portaging around a recently downed tree blocking the river's path near the end...hopefully it will be cleared soon though. The Keystone Canoe Club maintains this stretch of river so eventually it should be.

It was a fun, easy, non-enduring paddle (aside from portaging around the tree). I'd like to go back and do this stretch again when there is a higher water level.

Accommodations:

The Keystone Canoe Club maintains a put-in access point and a take-out access point on this river. These are the access points my friend and I used. There is an out-house at their take-out point. There is limited parking at each location, however, unless a club event is underway parking should not be a problem.

Fees:

If you use PA Fish and Game Commission access points you must have a permit on your boat, otherwise you don't need one.

I don't know if the Keystone Canoe Club would require you to join their club first before being granted permission to use their access points or not, but I do know you don't need to be a member to participate in their race, so perhaps not. In my situation, I had gone with a member of the club so I didn't need ask for permission. If you are required to join first though, then I would imagine you would have to pay whatever fee they have for joining.

Directions:

Due to the fact that I have no authority to grant permission for others to use the Keystone Canoe Club access points, I would advise first in contacting the club in obtaining this permission. Then you could likely get driving directions from them on this same occasion.

There are public access points along the way, as well as many bridge access points, but I'm not familiar enough with these points to give directions.

This particular stretch runs from the Leesport area to just above the Reading Airport and is paralleled by Rt. 61 if that helps.

Contact:

I would just remind everyone that the Keystone Canoe Club could answer any further questions one might have. The official contact information for this club as listed on the American Canoe Association website is as follows:

Keystone Canoe Club
R. Yerger
RR 5 Box 5808
Mohnton, PA 19540


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