River Sojourns Showcase Greenway Assets
River sojourns offer a different view of some of Pennsylvania’s treasured landscapes and historic assets. These multi-day river trips are scheduled on several waterways in early spring and summer when paddling conditions are optimal. A sojourn is a unique experience – a floating community is formed, quiet ripples are punctuated by amiable conversations. Meals and shuttling are usually included, so all paddlers really need to worry about is, well, nothing.
That means someone is dealing with the headaches and hassles, the logistic nightmares you might imagine would be involved with moving dozens of people along dozens of river miles. Why do they do it? What’s in it for them? Let’s hear from some of the three major sojourns that travel through or near the Main Line Canal Greenway.
“For some folks this might be the only chance they get to do something like this so I take the time to help plan & execute because I care, I want it to be the best it can be & that it will give everyone a great feeling when it’s done & they say “I loved it, I want to do it again & that is a great bunch of people”….that’s why I do it.” – B. Mahoney, Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers Sojourn
“I really like seeing the camaraderie between the fellow sojourners. You can show up alone, but never feel like you’re alone. Seems that friendships have developed.” – M. Golik, Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh River Sojourn
“Sojourns are great because everybody comes together as a family. After spending an extended period time paddling, eating, camping, and relaxing together, new bonds are formed and existing bonds are strengthened. There’s always a core group of people that go on sojourns, so I know that I’ll have some friends that will be attending. But there’s always new people joining, so I know I’ll make some new friends along the way.
I love planning sojourns because I love knowing that I’m making people happy. There are few things more satisfying in life than successfully planning a large event that everybody enjoys. Sure, it can be stressful coordinating logistics like meals and transportation, but that’s a small price to pay for the overwhelming feeling I get during and after the sojourn when everybody thanks me for a wonderful time.
Sojourns are important because they bring an economic stimulus through the towns that they go through. On top of that, they give local organizations a fantastic opportunity for educational outreach: be it informing the public about the initiatives of the organization and how the public can get involved in the community, or educating the public about local history, wildlife, and conservation planning within the local community and surrounding area.” – Michael Grasso, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership