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Swatara QR Code.  Save to your phone.

It's all about Clean Water.  Post your pictures of our events, water conservation, floods, pollution.  Share your memories about the Swatara....  Our projects and areas of interest include the Bordner Cabin, Eagle Scout Projects, PA Conservation Corps, Swatara State Park, Swatara River, Swatara Sojourn, Swatara Water Trail, Tenaska, Swatara Watershed Park, and Water Companies

 Planning a Swatara Outing? Tips:

bullet Updated Map  
bullet Swatara Water Trail map and guide 7MB 10.12.2017.pdf
bullet Public     access points about every 7 miles.

For comparison, when the Harpers gauge at our launch @ 1929 Blacks Bridge Road, Annville reads the following heights:

5.5, the Road to site #1 is almost covered, not             accessible and partly flooded;  


7 our ramp is covered to the top gravel border; 


9 the swell puts water onto sites 1-4 & site 8; and


10.56', only sites 26-35 do not flood. 

Depth  USGS Guages  National Weather Service provides forecasts for Harper's and Hershey gauges. Check the gauge nearest your start point.  Beginners should reschedule at 2.2' deep.  Reschedule if experienced, but water is rising between 3.5' & 4', or below .4'.  Kayaks may float a bit lower.  Memorial Lake is an option when the Swatara is too high or too low. 

bulletUse caution at dams:  With groups, avoid low-head dam in Jonestown.  Uneven portage on left bank, which disappears  into tree line in high water.  Hershey dam portage is also on the left.  Long, but flat, mowed route.  Take out at feeder stream on left before warning sign.
bulletU-Tow Canoes Available

Canoe Use agreement: CANOE USE CONTRACT.pdf


Seasonal Primitive Camping Camp/2019 Campsite Agreement.pdf  Fishing, hiking, picnicking 


Visit the Bordner Cabin in Swatara State Park:  Bordner Cabin Drive thru Swatara State Park 9AM-3PM the 2nd Fri & Sat monthly & 4th Fri & Sat Mar, Apr, Sep & Oct.


Most recent Newsletter: 

2017 Swatara News .pub.pdf


newsletters/Swatara News 2018 final.pdf



Envisioning an Environmental Legacy for the Swatara EELS, the Book in pdf file


Mills and Bank Barns Mills and Bank Barns Book.pdf\


 Minutes/Statement of Importance of the Swatara Creek.pdf

About the Swatara Watershed


Watershed Description


Virtual Driving Tour


Maps of the Watershed


Swatara State Park (position papers: Bordner Cabin and Old State Road


Watershed Links (more than 200 links to Recreational opportunities, Schools, local government, and MORE!)


Tourist Destinations (New Feature)


Contact Information/Press Room



About SWA


Our History and Mission


Officers and Board Members


Legacy Giving


Lifetime Members


Become a SWA Member


Support SWA


SWA Newsletters


Meeting Minutes


SWA Awards and Publications

SWA Projects


Canoe Trips and Sojourn




Intern Opportunities

Rivers Conservation Plan


What is a RCP?


About Swatara's RCP


Get your own copy


Read the RCP on-line


View watershed maps

Swatara on Great Nonprofits:


Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

13th Annual Canoe & Clean-up Trip


Saturday, May 5, 2001 & Sunday, May 6, 2001


Click here to see PHOTOS of the 13th annual Sojurn


Start at Route 645 south of Pine Grove, Schuylkill County.  End at Boat House Road Park, Derry Township, Dauphin County. .

LIFE JACKETS MUST BE WORN! Also carry a whistle and license in your canoe.

START TIME: Assigned a 9:30 or 10am... start, depending on number of participants.



DAY 1: 9:30AM Safety Briefing. First segment Approximately 16 miles or 6 hours (depending on water depth/flow) Route 645 to Lickdale Campground. Toilet.

Garbage drop off and Toilet at Swopes Valley Road.

Noon lunch at the Appalachian Trail bridge. Toilet.

6PM Dinner @ Lickdale Camp grounds. Group picture. Evening children's program.   Toilet.

7:30PM Evening includes cultural presentations on the HorseShoe & Appalachian Trails and Swatara State Park at Trinity UMC, 1 mile west of Lickdale Campground on Fisher Ave. 

9:30PM Smoores by the campfire at Lickdale Camp Grounds. 

DAY 2:  7-8AM Breakfast at Trinity UMC

8-8:30AM Hearts Afire contemporary praise band service.

9AM - Water Trail sign dedication, Scottos, Jonestown, followed by safety briefing..Toilet.

9:30AM... Hit the water

Second segment approximately 14miles from Scotto’s Italian Restaurant in Jonestown, lunch at the SCWA Water Works canoe launch, and dinner at Union Canal Canoe Rentals.

12 NOON Lunch at Water Works.  Toilet.

5PM Dinner at Union Canal Canoe Rentals.  Toilet.

6PM Third segment, for the hearty canoeist, approximately 10 miles from UCCR to Boat House Road Park.  Toilet.  END

DIRECTIONS: From Route 81, take exit 31, turn right to Route 645 for start. For DAY 1 Take Out, take exit 30, turn left on Fisher Avenue to red light for Lickdale Campgrounds.

DONATION: $15/adult/day or $5/child/day (12 and under) helps to defray the cost of brochures, confirmations, and food. Sorry, no refunds.

QUESTIONS: Call (717)274-1175 or fax (717)274-1749. If trip is postponed, there will be a message on machine. 

REGISTRATION: Please pre-register. DEADLINE - April 29, 2001. Mail to 2501 Cumberland St., Lebanon PA 17042. It is important to sign in upon arrival. So that we know everyone is safe, when exiting the Swatara, your cooperation is requested by signing out on a designated sheet.. 


bulletAES Ironwood
bulletAppalachian Trail Conference
bulletCoca Cola
bulletDepartment of Conservation & Natural Resources
bulletDepartment of Environmental Protection
bulletDerry Township-Boat House Road Park
bulletGreater Lebanon Refuse Authority
bulletHershey Foods
bulletHorseshoe Trail Club
bulletIzaak Walton League of Lebanon
bulletLebanon Valley Tourist Bureau
bulletLeague of Women Voters of Lebanon
bulletLebanon Water Authority
bulletLickdale Campgrounds
bulletLoft Sign Co.
bulletMackin Engineering


bulletMemorial & Swatara State Parks
bulletNational Water Week
bulletPA American Water Company
bulletPA Fish & Boat Commission
bulletRon’s Beer Depot
bulletWalter Sattazahn Refuse Service
bulletScotto's Italian Restaurant
bulletSimon S Kettering & Sons, Inc.
bulletSusquehanna River Basin Commission
bulletSwatara Creek Watershed Association
bulletTrinity United Methodist Church, Lickdale & Hearts Afire
bulletUnion Canal Canoe Rentals
bulletWeidle Sanitation
bulletWenger Feeds
bulletWengert's Dairy
bulletWindswept Farms Christmas Trees

NO CANOE? You can make separate arrangements with Bill & Ruth Wise.  They have canoes, paddles, life vests, and BOTH deliver and pickup canoes. If you rent a canoe for one day, it's $25, but there is a package deal of $30 per canoe for both days.Call (717)838-9580.


bulletLickdale Campgrounds (717)865-6411 (Recommended site for end of DAY 1 activities.)
bulletUnion Canal Canoe Rentals camping (717)838-9580 (Site of Day 2 Dinner)
bulletDays Inn (717)865-4064 (near Lickdale Camp Grounds)
bulletSuper 8 (717)865-6600 (1/2 mile from Lickdale Camp Grounds)

Reduced rates are available for individuals mentioning the Sojourn.  Please note that neither campground or hotel prices are included in the $15 per day registration fee.  Overnight accommodations and costs are the responsibility of each participant.   Phone numbers are provided.

However, Food price is included with registration fee
-Saturday morning snack purchased from Jonestown Foodtown.  (9AM) Doughnuts (location--Route 645).
-Saturday lunch sponsored by the Isaac Walton League, soup/turkey sandwiches (location--Appalachian Trail Bridge)
-Saturday dinner purchased from Scotto's.  (6PM) includes lasagna (meat or vegetable), salad, roll/soda. (location--Lickdale Campgrounds)
-Sunday breakfast sponsored by Trinity United Methodist Church/Lickdale (7AM) , egg casseroles... (location--Trinity UMC).
-Sunday lunch purchased from Seaman's, subs, oranges, & granola bars (location--Water Works Canoe Launch)
-Sunday dinner purchased:  Hotdogs, hamburgers, and ASK salads (location--Union Canal Canoe Rentals)

LITTER: Pleasure boaters, scouts, churches, and families are both encouraged and welcome! In observance of National Water Week, if you're inclined to leave the Swattie a little nicer than you found it, leave room in your canoe for litter.

LEAD & SWEEP CANOES: Stay behind the assigned lead-canoe who has scouted the Swattie for obstacles before the trip. Also, do not fall behind the sweep (last) canoe carrying first-aid and patch kits.

EDUCATIONAL: See and experience our local treasures of natural beauty and geological formations (limestone outcrops), historical Union Canal Locks, and recreation..

PREPARATION: Read the canoe brochure enclosed with your registration confirmation. Also, be prepared to walk through wetlands and cow ploppers, observe birds and other wildlife, identify aquatic insects, portage canoes, get drizzled on, fall in and have blue lips the rest of the day, eat good food, enjoy good company, and take home lusty tales of adventure.

BRING: In addition to your canoe, bring enthusiasm, warm clothes and rain gear (a garbage bag will do). Also, boots, binoculars, field guides, gloves, a hand-held shovel, suntan lotion, insect repellent, wide-brimmed hat, and pocket knife in a waterproof pack fastened to your canoe might come in handy. This may be the only time we recommend disposable, waterproof cameras.  NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES!



NAME___________________________ PHONE__________________________

ADDRESS_______________________ EMAIL___________________________

Check all that apply:

__I will pick up litter. __I would like SCWA membership info.

__I will help with registration. __I would like sponsor information.

__I am experienced and interested in scouting & LEAD CANOE.

__I am experienced and interested in SWEEP CANOE.

__I AM CERTIFIED IN FIRST AID & CPR, and I will carry a first aid kit.

__I will help shuttle drivers.

__I would like a sample copy of Swatara News

__I have a canoe for sale. Describe: ________________________________________

__I would like to purchase a canoe. Please provide me with leads.

X_I understand that I will canoe the Swattie and/or pick up litter at my own risk.

_________________________________ __________________________________

your signature partner's signature

In addition to signing this hold-harmless release, parents must accompany minors or designate a responsible adult:_____________________________________

PAYMENT ENCLOSED: (Mail to 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 2, Lebanon PA 17042)

bulletSaturday $15 x _______ adults = $ ___________.  $5 x _____ children = $_________.
bulletSunday  $15 x _______ adults = $ ___________.  $5 x _____ children = $_________.
bulletTOTAL ENCLOSED  $_____________

Make checks payable to SCWA. Limited number of T-shirts on sale for $10.   Mail to 2501 Cumberland St., Suite 2, Lebanon  PA  17042.