The River Sojourn will be a four-day, three-night trip, beginning in Curwensville Sunday, May 20 and ending in Renovo Thursday, May 25, which is approximately 85 miles. Participants will come in on May 19, so they can have an early start on the river Sunday morning.
“We are partnering with GenOn to hold a river clean up on Monday, May 21, the second day of the journey from Shawville to Deer Creek,” said Kelly Williams, watershed specialist with the Clearfield County Conservation District. “Along the way, we will be highlighting Curwensville and Clearfield boroughs and have educational presentations each night when we stop to camp. We’ll cover topics including our local history, what abandoned mine drainage is and how to clean it up and the improved water quality of the West Branch.”
Participants will be required to register for the Sojourn, and there will be a fee for each day of the trip, which covers all the meals and other amenities as well as insurance coverage. Fees for adults are: $30 for Saturday night, $70 per day Sunday through Wednesday, and $60 for Thursday. Kid’s fees are: $17 for Saturday, $37 per day Sunday through Wednesday, and $33 for Thursday. Participants will also be able to choose which days they would like to be on the river. Williams said certain sections of the river are more remote than others and one day may involve up to 22 miles of paddling. The CCCD is encouraging intermediate or advanced paddlers participate – especially during the last two days of the trip. Once registration is finalized, it can be found on the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership website (www.susquehannagreenway.org).
“Every year the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership tries to host a Sojourn somewhere on the Susquehanna River,” Williams said. “They have a dedicated group of attendees each year and typically see approximately 60 people each year who come not only from across Pennsylvania, but other states as well. It will provide us with a perfect chance to showcase the natural beauty of our area.”
Recently, the West Branch received National Recreational Trail status from the National Park Service and was also cited as a “Best Adventure Destination 2012” by National Geographic. With so much attention on the West Branch, it seemed like we had to host an event like the Sojourn to celebrate, Williams said.
Project Partners include: Clearfield County Conservation District, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, Clearfield County Recreation and Tourism Authority, McCracken Canoe Sales & Rental, Curwensville Lake Authority, Trout Unlimited, Clinton County Economic Partnership, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Protection, Canoe Susquehanna, Lumber Heritage Area, PA Environmental Council and GenOn Energy.
“The Upper West Branch of the Susquehanna River is more remote than any other section of the river,” Williams said. “We have small, close knit communities that have grown up adjacent to the river in the middle of Penn’s Woods. The Susquehanna River and all of its tributaries provide us with the benefits of recreational fishing, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and swimming in addition to their natural beauty.
“Sometimes, we take for granted this amazing resource right in our own backyard,” Williams said. “You see television shows all the time about people traveling across states and to other countries to find the best places to fish, natural areas where one can appreciate the environment or a remote stretch of water for a rejuvenating day in the kayak to get away from it all. Here, we don’t have to travel very far for any of that.”
She added, “Having an event like this on the river and highlighting both the connection our communities have to it as well as its remoteness not only showcases it to visitors but reminds us of what we love about the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.”
Any questions about the River Sojourn can be directed to the Clearfield Conservation District at 765-2629.