River sojourns offer both new and experienced paddlers an opportunity to connect with waterways by enjoying outdoor recreation. They are a great way to learn more about Pennsylvania’s rivers and creeks.
“Spending time in nature is critical to our well-being, and we continue efforts to make this experience available to all,” says DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “For someone trying paddling for the first time, a river sojourn would be a great addition to your summer calendar.”
If you have wanted to try your hand at paddling and experience nature along Pennsylvania’s waterways, a guided river sojourn is a great place to start.
June is Rivers Month
June is Rivers Month in Pennsylvania, and there are a lot of waterways to celebrate in the commonwealth.
Pennsylvania has 86,000 miles of rivers and streams -- among the highest in the country!
In part, the Rivers Month designation is to remind us about the importance of conserving and restoring our waterways because of all the benefits they provide, including drinking water.
Of course, they are a great resource for recreational opportunities to have fun and cool off, and sojourns are a great way to be introduced to paddling and water trails.
Benefits of Joining a Sojourn
River sojourns are multi-day journeys along a river or stream to bring attention to its environmental, economic, and recreational importance.
Kayakers, canoers, rafters -- even bicyclists riding along the water -- are encouraged to share in the festivities highlighting the environmental, historical, and cultural aspects of the river and its surroundings.
Paddlers of all experience levels are welcome at these events, which occur throughout the state.
Sojourns include expert instructors and safety personnel, and incorporate education about local history, geological formations, wildlife, or conservation practices.
To sum it up, sojourns give you a chance to:
- Learn how to paddle and be safe on the water
- Meet other sojourners
- Hear what it takes to steward the river and how to get involved
- See and learn about the history and culture of communities on the river
- Make great summer memories
Find a Sojourn
Each sojourn is a little different. Some events are day trips, while others offer multi-day experiences, complete with camping and meals.
Each sojourn gives paddlers an opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation and learn more about a specific waterway, while in the safety of an experienced guide.
There are 13 sojourns that are planned across Pennsylvania waterways this year.
Find a list of events on the 2021 sojourn map.
DCNR works with the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers to offer small grants to organizations to arrange and manage these trips on waterways across the state.
The Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers has administered the sojourn program for more than a decade; and has supported sojourn/paddling trips on many of the commonwealth’s rivers and streams. DCNR is the primary sponsor of the program.
The program awards more than $30,000 in grants across the state to support local organizations and their sojourn events. On average, the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers supports between 10 to 15 paddling events each year.
Find information about sojourn mini-grants on the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers website. Learn more about rivers conservation on the DCNR website.