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. 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, 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  meals,  programs and professional guides.  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.

The price you pay for registration includes lunch, educational programming, a bike, helmet, and canoe (if needed). Registration fees for each day are $55/adult, $35/child. If you sign up for all 3 days, you’ll receive a 10% discount.

The route for each day of the Sojourn is detailed below:

Day 1: Whitewater rafting through the Lehigh Gorge State Park from Drakes Creek to Glen Onoko

Day 2: Canoe/kayak and bike Bike on the D&L Trail from Riverview Park in Palmerton to downtown Jim Thorpe

Day 3: Canoe/kayak and bike on the D&L Trail from the Rt. 33 boat launch in Easton to Sand Island in Bethlehem

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?
This year, we’ll begin and end our trip at the same location each day, so your car stays put!

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. We also recommend a backpack to carry your belongings during the biking portion of the trip.

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! All you need to do is check the canoe rental box during registration! Please be advised if you need a canoe, you must come with a partner. Canoes will not be rented to single participants this year.

How old do you need to be to participate?
Participants must be at least 8 years old for Day 1 and 6 years old for Days 2 &3. 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. There will be NO REFUNDS issued after Friday, September 11 2020.

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. If you require a canoe, you must come with a partner. Single seats in canoes cannot be rented at this time.

 For your safety, please inform safety officers if it is your first time in a canoe.

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

If using 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:

Click here to read our entire Covid-19 Health & Safety policy.

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.

No smoking.

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