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Pennsylvania River of the Year and Sojourns

Pennsylvania is blessed with several large, iconic rivers which provide the commonwealth’s communities and citizens with numerous benefits, including:

  • Environmental
  • Recreational
  • Tourism
  • Heritage

To raise public awareness about our rivers’ values and increase stewardship of these natural resources,  DCNR and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) partner to recognize a River of the Year and provide recreational activities to connect people to our rivers.

River of the Year

DCNR and POWR annually announce a River of the Year. The recognition aims to raise awareness of the recreational, ecological, and historical resources related to Pennsylvania’s waterways.

Each fall, DCNR and POWR accept nominations from local organizations interested in becoming River of the Year. The public is invited to vote for their River of the Year selection. The waterway that receives the most votes becomes the River of the Year!

The River of the Year sponsor organization receives a $10,000 grant from DCNR and technical assistance to help them with celebrating their waterway.

Each River of the Year winner gets a commemorative poster and organizes special activities, events, and at least one paddling trip. These events aim to raise public awareness about:

  • Stewardship needs
  • Conservation successes
  • Natural, cultural, and economic value of the waterway

River Sojourns

River sojourns are paddling trips that offer both new and experienced paddlers an opportunity connect with our rivers by enjoying outdoor recreation, and learning more about a specific waterway while accompanied by an experienced guide. 

  • PA sojourn season is typically May through September
  • Sojourns can be one day or multi-day
  • The typical cost to participants is roughly $20 to $80 per day
  • Cost often includes the paddling equipment, lunch, and a variety of educational speakers related to the waterway’s local heritage, economy, wildlife, and other important topics
  • Information on participating in a sojourn

DCNR and POWR partner to manage a sojourn program that provides funding to local organizations to lead guided paddling trips.