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PA Trails Month: The Schuylkill River Water Trail

September isn’t over yet, and neither is PA Trails Month. In an earlier blog post, we talked about the Schuylkill River Trail, its access points, and the opportunities for recreation it offers the Pottstown area. But those recreation opportunities don’t end on land. The Schuylkill River Water Trail offers a whole new way to explore the area.

Water recreation can often feel inaccessible and expensive, but there are programs that provide affordable options for learning how to navigate the river and renting watercrafts.

The Schuylkill River is mostly used for paddling, however in some sections of the water trail, there are also opportunities for motor boats, waterskies and more.

Just like the on-land trail, the water trail has multiple access points and “put-ins” throughout the Pottstown area. We’ll list all those places and their locations, along with some resources for discovering how you can start getting out on the water whether you’re new to boating or an old pro.

Water Trail Access Points

There are four Water Trail access points in the Pottstown Region. It's important to note that these access points differ from the Schuylkill River Trail trailheads. Although there are some points where both overlap, you will not be able to access both the land and water trails at all of these sites.

Ganshahawny Park Access

The Ganshahawny Park access is located the western end of the Pottstown-region of the Water Trail at 335 Old Philadelphia Pike, Douglassville. Though it's not in Pottstown itself, Ganshahawny Park is only a ten-minute drive from Pottstown center. The Ganshahawny Park Access includes a small, concrete ramp that can be used to put-in canoes and kayaks, as well as a picnic pavilion, restrooms, and a small parking area. The stretch of river going eastward from this access toward the Pottstown Riverfront Park access is usually flat and slow moving, making this section a great option for beginners.

Pottstown Riverfront Park Access

The Riverfront Park Access is located at 140 College Drive in Pottstown, and includes picnic tables, a pavilion, benches and access to both the Schuylkill River Trail and the Water Trail.

PARRC's and the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area offices are located at this address as well, making it a great spot to stop for more information before a paddle. This location is also home to Take It Outdoors, an outdoor adventure outfitter that offers kayak, canoe and standup paddle board rentals. Take It Outdoors also offers beginner friendly, guided paddling trips, lessons and more. The Pottstown Riverfront Park Access is a great access for first-timers, as it offers ample resources and is easy to find! For more information on Take It Outdoors, visit their website by clicking the button below.

Riverside Park Access

This access point is located almost directly across the river from Pottstown's Riverfront Park. The access offers a boat launch and a large parking lot. To get to this access, travel north on South Hanover Street towards Pottstown Center, and turn right onto Schuylkill Avenue. You will find the Riverside Park entrance where Schuylkill Avenue meets South Penn Street (see map below). The park offers a brand-new floating dock as well as ADA parking and access to the dock.

Riverside Park Access Location

Towpath Park Access

East Coventry Township's Towpath Park is both a Schuylkill River Trail and Water Trail access point, making it a great location to plan both on water and on land excursions. The park includes a boat ramp for launching your canoe or kayak, parking, pavilions, restrooms, benches and playground equipment. The park is located at 1597 New Schuylkill Road (Route 724), Pottstown.

The Towpath Park access is another great put-in point for beginners due to its location and easy access to amenities.

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