The closest many people get to the Delaware River is when they are driving across a toll bridge en route to work. This June, the Delaware River wants to invite you to connect with the river, to slip a kayak into its cool waters, and dip a paddle into its cultural and historical legacy.
The 19th Delaware River Sojourn is beckoning all newcomers, even those who have never held a paddle or an oar and especially those who have never bonded with the river that carves through New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. This year, the sojourn is scheduled as an 8-day paddling trip combining canoeing/kayaking/rafting, camping, educational programs, historical interpretation, and more. The theme is “Our Remarkable River.”
“We’re not looking for whitewater kayakers,” says Rich Egan. Chairman of the Sojourn Steering Committee. “This is a leisurely stroll. In fact, 25% of our sojourners are first-timers.” The other three-quarters of the group are those who “come back each year and do more and more days. It’s not unusual to have people return annually for 10 years or more!”
Typically, over 200 participants, including many families, join in the sojourn experience on the days of their choice. Some journey for only a day, others for the entire week. Most choose the option of using kayaks provided by the livery service, but some prefer to bring their own boats. Safety support and instruction is provided by members of the National Canoe Safety Patrol. The daily fee, about $80, includes boat rental, shuttles, most meals, camping site fees, and a wealth of historical and environmental presentations woven throughout the trip.
“Some kayakers told me they will never forget hearing the Lenape prayer sung by Native American linguist Shelley DePaul as we entered the Delaware Water Gap last year,” says Egan. “This year, I have people already excited about the historical talk at the Roebling Aqueduct. The Greek feast was a bit hit, so we’re going to do it again. And I know the ice cream social at the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn’s Landing in Philly will be a grand finale.”
“The sojourn is a celebration of the Delaware River,” says Egan. Local, state, federal, and private support—including grants—make it affordable and possible. “Many agencies, including the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the National Park Service, and the American Canoe Association, contribute to this event in order to increase understanding, awareness, and appreciation for the Delaware River and its watershed,” explains Egan.
The journey begins with a visit to the website: www.delawareriversojourn.org
The 2013 Delaware River Sojourn Itinerary:
Pick your days!
Saturday, June 22
Ten Mile River Access (NY) to Zane Grey Access (PA)
Sunday, June 23
Zane Grey Access to Jerry’s Three Rivers Campground (NY)
Monday, June 24
Lackawaxen River: River Bend Access (PA) to Zane Grey Access on the Delaware River (PA)
Tuesday, June 25
Milford (PA) to Dingmans Ferry Access (PA)
Wednesday, June 26
Dingmans Ferry to Bushkill Access (PA)
Thursday, June 27
Giving Pond (PA) to Bulls Island (NJ)
Friday, June 28
Bulls Island to Lambertville (NJ)
Saturday, June 29
Independence Seaport Museum (PA) to Gloucester City (NJ) and back with the tide