Lehigh River Sojourn: Frequently Asked Questions

You have questions? We have answers!

I'm nervous; I've never canoed before!
The Lehigh River is the perfect opportunity to “get your feet wet!” We have one of the best safety teams in the state with more than 200 years of river-guiding experience. Our safety chairman is a professional kayaking instructor and river rafting outfitter, our assistant safety chairman is currently the head of the National Canoe Safety Patrol, and many of our crew members are also members of the National Canoe Safety Patrol.  Anything can happen out there, but this group of river professionals is serious about providing a fun first-time river experience that runs as safely as possible.  Many of your safety crew are swift water rescue technicians, and most think they are part-time comedians!  You will laugh while you learn and paddle under the watchful eye of your safety crew.  You will also find yourself surrounded by a bunch of other paddle-enthusiasts and Wildlands Conservancy staff.

Safety briefings are held each morning after breakfast and all participants MUST attend these briefings.  During these briefings, you’ll learn how river water behaves, how to read currents, and then how to paddle your craft most effectively.  Once you understand a little about the physics of river water, you’ll be amazed at how well you do.  Once we put on the river, there is always a period of practice during which your safety crew will help you with a few paddling tips.

Eh, I’m an avid paddler; why should I go?
While supporting Wildlands Conservancy, you’ll enjoy the friendly group and all of the other aspects of the Lehigh River Sojourn – our entertainment and education programs.  Take this opportunity to learn more about the river that you already paddle on.  Also, the Lehigh River Sojourn gets a lot of publicity, which helps promote the protection of the Lehigh. By participating, avid paddlers help focus attention on the river.

What’s included in my registration fee?
The Lehigh River Sojourn is hosted by Wildlands Conservancy, a nonprofit conservation organization. Contributions of time, goods and services from our many sponsors and supporters allow us to keep participant costs as low as possible.

Each day has its own registration fee. Items included in the registration fee are snacks, entertainment, an education program, shuttle transportation and three meals for the day you are registered. Camping is included for the night before you join the trip (so you can wake up ready to go!) and/or the night after you paddle. See registration fees for each day below:

Day 1:  $95.00 – Whitewater rafting
Drakes Creek to Glen Onoko

Day 2: $75.00 – Canoe/Kayak/Raft
Jim Thorpe to Walnutport

Day 3: $75.00 – Canoe/Kayak/Raft
Walnutport to Whitehall

Day 4: $75.00 – Canoe/Kayak/Raft
Whitehall to Bethlehem

Day 5: $75.00 – Canoe/Kayak/Raft
Bethlehem to Easton

Canoe/Raft Rentals: $15.00 per person/per day

I am only free one of the days...can I still go?

Of course!  The Lehigh River Sojourn is three days long but participants are welcomed for as many days as you can make it – one, two or three!  Be adventurous and join our through-trippers who sojourn all three days!

What do I do with my car all day long?
Every morning, cars are parked at our launching spot. Personal vehicles stay at the launch area all day. We encourage participants to leave their personal belongings in their vehicles (you are welcome to bring them in your canoe, but be careful if you spill! We highly recommend bringing a dry bag with you in your canoe). At the end of each day a shuttle is provided for drivers only to return to the starting point to pick up their personal vehicle. Drivers can pick up their vehicles and drive back to the take-out spot to join the rest of the Sojourners for dinner, entertainment and camping.

Do I need to bring my own camping equipment?
Yes. Wildlands Conservancy provides campsites for each day of the Sojourn (even the night before the first day!). All participants, who wish to camp, need to supply their own camping gear. Participants are encouraged to camp and enjoy the evening’s activities.

What do I need to bring?
Wildlands Conservancy suggests you bring:

Swim apparel, rain gear, appropriate foot gear (sneakers, hiking boots, water shoes (NOTE: flip-flops are not appropriate foot gear), warm clothes (sweaters and/or jackets), emergency dry clothes, hats/visors, sunglasses, sunblock/suntan lotion, dry bag or double plastic bag (to keep things dry. You’re paddling in a river – there is a high probability that the stuff in your canoe may get wet), camping gear, snacks and any medication you will need.

All kayakers must bring and wear a kayak helmet (Bike helmets cannot be used).

Remember to read the weather reports! The Lehigh River Sojourn is a rain or shine event. Please dress according to the weather.

Wildlands Conservancy is not responsible for any participant’s personal items on the Lehigh River Sojourn. Please be advised that if you decide to bring items into your canoe and/or raft you are solely responsible for them.

I want to go, but I don't have a canoe!That’s fine! Canoe rentals are available for $15/day/person. Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) and paddles are included with this fee.

How old do you need to be to participate?
Participants must be at least 8 years old. Participants under the age of 18 years old are the responsibility of, and must be accompanied by, a parent or guardian. Children should be able to swim and must wear properly fitted youth Type III PFD. Families are welcome to share a canoe with a small child in the middle – this is ultimately up to the Safety Team Captain to ensure the safety of all participants.

What is the cancellation policy?
If you must cancel your registration, please notify Diane Motel at 610.965.4397, ext. 118 or dmotel@wildlandspa.org by Friday, June 19, 2016. There will be NO REFUNDS issued after Friday, June 19, 2016.

In case of bad weather or other external circumstances, Wildlands Conservancy does have the right to cancel or alter a portion of the Lehigh River Sojourn in order to ensure the safety of the participants. If a portion of the Lehigh River Sojourn needs to be cancelled or altered, participants for that day will be notified as soon as possible and a new date will be determined. There will be NO REFUNDS due to cancellation.

Wildlands Conservancy does reserve the right to alter any portion of the trip to ensure the safety of participants. Trip alterations can include the length of the trip, switching to rafts due to water levels or delaying launch times.

General Instructions
Upon your arrival, you must first check in at Wildlands Conservancy’s registration table

Please review the Daily Logistic Sheets provided on the web site for the days you are participating in the Lehigh River Sojourn. These sheets will familiarize you with times, places, meals, and events.

Maximum people per canoe = Two adults and one small child

Pocono Whitewater Adventures will provide rafts on Day 1. Option for Day 1: Pocono Whitewater Adventures rents full wet suits; half wet suits; waterproof booties – you pay Pocono Whitewater Adventures that day for the items if you choose to use them.

Please note that Day 2 may be challenging to beginning canoeists. For your safety, please inform safety officers if it is your first time in a canoe.

Safety Briefings are held each morning after breakfast. All participants are required to attend safety briefings each morning.

If renting a canoe from Wildlands Conservancy, paddles and a Type III PFD will be provided.

For your safety and that of your fellow Lehigh River Sojourners, the following policies will be in effect during the entire trip:

No alcoholic beverages will be allowed on the river or at any Sojourn-sponsored event

No glass containers are permitted on the river

All participants must attend the daily safety briefing conducted by the Lehigh River Sojourn Safety Team Captain, Jerry McAward, before launching. Basic skill instruction will be available. Participants must adhere to safety guidelines presented.

Participants must wear a Type III USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) at all times on the river.

All directives of the safety officers must be followed in the event of bad weather, hazardous conditions, or an emergency.

No pets allowed.

All participants must sign a liability and photo waiver. Parents must sign for children under 18 years old.

Participants are responsible for their own trash/recycling and campsite clean-up.

Emergency Contact
In the event of an emergency involving you needing to contact a sojourn participant, call 610.965.4397, ext. 118.