Join the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) on Saturday, August 5, 2023, as we discover the North Branch Susquehanna River Water Trail. The Susquehanna Sojourn is a one-day celebration connecting you to the outdoor opportunities along the North Branch Susquehanna River.
Paddlers along this section of river will enjoy the calm waters of the North Branch as they meander past several chains of river islands. Be sure to take a look as you pass by for the chance of seeing waterfowl roosted in the island’s trees. Iconic views of the endless rolling mountain landscape are another great feature of this North Branch paddling route. Lunch will be provided.
When: August 5, 2023 | 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Where (start): Test Track Park Municipal Access, Berwick
Where (lunch & wildlife show): Columbia Park Access
Where (end): PFBC Bloomsburg Access, Bloomsburg
Paddling Distance: 10 miles (easy)
Rentals: $20/single | $35/tandem
- 8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Registration opens at the Test Track Park boat launch. This will be a time for participants to check-in, receive their appropriate materials, and drop off boats. Light morning refreshments, port-a-johns, and informational tables will be accessible to participants at both locations.
- 9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Shuttle (Drivers only, all others are asked to be dropped off at the launch site)
- 10:15 AM – 10:30 AM: Opening remarks and kayak safety talk.
- 10:30 AM – 10:45 AM: Launch of paddlers from Test Track Park.
- 10:45 AM – 12:30 PM: Participants will paddle from Test Track Park to the Columbia Park Access, where they will enjoy a picnic lunch.
- 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: At the picnic grounds, participants will enjoy lunch and a wildlife show.
- 1:30 PM – 1:45 PM: Participants will transition back on-water.
- 1:45 PM – 4:00 PM: Participants will paddle the remaining route.
- 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM: Participants will paddle to the PFBC Bloomsburg boat launch where they will take out and end the day. Participants will get off the water and transition back to their vehicles. They will be asked to fill out a short survey about the event prior to departing.
After the sojourn, perhaps you would like to head back to the Susquehanna Greenway River Town of Bloomsburg to recap the day with new and old friends over a well-earned libation or dinner at one of numerous restaurants and establishments such as: Turkey Hill Brewing Company, Marley’s Brewery and Grille, and many more!
The Susquehanna Sojourn: Berwick to Bloomsburg Paddle is financed in part by the Columbia County Commissioners’ Tourism Fund, Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau and by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program Environmental Stewardship Fund under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
What about water levels?
- Should low water levels prevent the planned itinerary, we do have a backup plan further upriver within the backflow of a dam, which should allow for deep enough waters. The alternate route would be a roughly 7-8-mile out-and-back paddle from Linden, PA with a picnic lunch at Susquehanna State Park. On this section of the West Branch, there are opportunities to see remnants of local lumber history with the Susquehanna Boom, as well as an opportunity to paddle by a bald eagle nest. More information to follow should this alternative be adopted.
How do I rent a kayak?
- To reserve your kayak or canoe, simply mark your registration. Rentals are $20 per single vessel, $35 per tandem. The outfitter will have the rentals and safety equipment available at the launch.
What about check-in?
- Check-in will be located at the Berwick Test Track Park boat launch.
- Please bring your signed participant forms.
Will there be a shuttle?
- Yes. If you are bringing your own boat(s), please drop them off at the put-in at Test Track Park when you check in. Please also drop off any passengers in your car with your boats. Drivers should then check in and proceed down to the PFBC Bloomsburg boat launch. If you are renting boats, drivers should drop off passengers at Test Track Park, check-in, and only the drivers should proceed to Bloomsburg. We will then shuttle only the drivers back up to the put-in.
- We shuttle this way (with your cars at the end of the paddle) so that your car will be right at the take-out at the end of the day. There will not be a shuttle back to the put-in at the conclusion of the event.
What's the address/route?
- Our starting location (registration/check-in) and put-in location is at the Berwick Test Track Park boat launch.
- The take-out for the kayaks is located at the PFBC Bloomsburg boat launch.
- Paddlers along this section of river will enjoy the calm waters of the North Branch as they meander past several chains of river islands. Be sure to take a look as you pass by for the chance of seeing waterfowl roosted in the island’s trees. The route is 10 miles.
What about lodging?
- There are several nearby hotels in Columbia County. Please reach out to the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau for recommendations. They can be reached by emailing [email protected] or calling 1-800-847-4810.
Can I bring my kids?
- This is a family-friendly event, and children are welcome to attend. However, children under the age of 12 may NOT pilot their own craft (kayak or canoe). This article from REI can help you plan for the paddle event.
- It is also important to note that this can be a long paddle (11+ miles) for children 10 and under. Consider renting a tandem kayak to avoid falling behind. Tandem kayaks and canoes are available through registration.
Do I need to register my boat?
- Pennsylvania boat launch permits are encouraged, but not required for this event.
Is there a rain date?
- Rain – the event will continue as scheduled for rain alone. Should alternate weather conditions present on the day of the event, SGP will work with park staff to determine an appropriate alternative or cancel the event.
- There is not an alternate rain date at this time. Should that change, SGP will notify all registrants.
What should I bring?
- If it is cold and rainy, NO COTTON.
- If an article of clothing says it is fleece (like a sweatshirt) make sure the fleece is polyester.
- You are required to bring and wear a PFD if you are providing your own boat.
- Please wear appropriate closed-toe shoes, as we will be getting in and our of our boats on several occasions and the landscape may be muddy/rocky.
- Athletic-type/quick-drying apparel is recommended, and consider bringing a backpack or hydration pack, and snacks.
- *extra water will be provided*
More Questions? You may also call or email Corey Ellison with any questions: 570-478-1317 or [email protected].