folks paddling in red and yellow kayaks

Summer Adventures

The summer months are a great time to get outdoors in Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas. We make the planning easy with trail guides, maps and apps. Choose from a wide array of expeditions that will have you out on the trail or water in no time. Don’t have the gear? No problem! Many of these trips include bikes or kayaks, plus a knowledgeable guide to lead the way!

Below, you’ll find a small sampling of the resources and adventures that await you in Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas! And remember, you can visit our Heritage Map tab to find more fun at each of the Heritage Areas.

Tools for Planning

Publications and online tools created and provided by Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas make planning – and knowing what’s around you – a snap! Grab some friends! Round up the family! It’s time to get outside! Here’s just a sampling of the resources available.

  • Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor offers an app, a trail guide book and an online interactive map that includes trail-friendly businesses. Learn more.
  • Endless Mountains Heritage Region offers North Branch of the Susquehanna River Water Trail Maps and Guides: $20 plus tax/shipping. Learn more.
  • Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area’s online map helps you plan outings to Trailheads, Trail Towns and Places to Visit. Or use the Interactive Water Trail Map featuring Water Trail Landings, River Towns, and Places to Visit
  • Susquehanna National Heritage Area offers a wide array of map options, from online to waterproof. Pick your preference!

Making it easy to get outside

Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas offer a wide array of trips, tours and workshops throughout the year. Use as a home base for discovery. Here are just a few of the upcoming events that make it safe and easy for you to have an adventure, whether you’re into hiking, cycling or paddling!

JULY 21 – Evening Pedal & Paddle at Lock 60
Schuylkill Riiver Greenways National Heritage Area
Mont Clare (Montgomery County) 4-7:30pm

Must be 16 or older to participate; event is limited to 15 participants.
No equipment required. Bikes and kayaks provided.

Learn about the canal, the locktender’s house, and Lock 60, which is the only restored, operating lock remaining of the Schuylkill Navigation System. Enjoy a 4-mile bike ride along the Schuylkill River Trail, led by Take It Outdoors. Participants will use bicycles from the free Pottstown-based bike share program. After a brief introduction to kayaking, participants finish the night with a kayaking loop that begins on the river and returns via the canal.

Food will be provided. All gear, such as bicycles and boats, are included. If you have a special request for a boat, please contact Take It Outdoors Adventures directly at the email or call 610-656-3969. Certified guides will lead the group bike ride and paddle.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: A meal, guides, bike, boat and all other gear are included with each $43 registration.

JULY 24-25: Sullivan County Hikes & Bikes: Ricketts Glen Challenge

The Endless Mountains Heritage Region is teaming up with the DCNR (PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) for its second event in the Sullivan County Hikes & Bikes Series: The Ricketts Glen Challenge! Experience this spectacular state park like few have before!

To complete the challenge, hikers must take a photo with their camera or cell phone at various designated points throughout Ricketts Glen State Park. Participants have both Saturday and Sunday (July 24 and 25) to complete the challenge and also have the option of completing the challenge solo or by joining up with a guided group. The choice is up to you! Mileage will vary, depending on how you go about the challenge. The guided tour will be roughly 7.5-miles on Saturday and around 5-miles on Sunday. Participants will be provided route options/maps.
Those who wish to participate both Saturday and Sunday have the options of staying overnight in organized group camping areas #3 and #4 at Ricketts Glen or they can make arrangements for a discounted stay at the beautiful Eagles Mere Inn. Space is limited, so don’t delay!

Due to camping area space as well as state guidelines and current restrictions on EMHR/DCNR events, we are limiting this event to 50 people, so sign up fast! All guidelines, including masks and social distancing, will be applied where necessary.

The “Sullivan County Hikes & Bikes” series is funded in part by the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau and Sullivan County room tax.

JULY 25: Heritage Paddle Tour – Industry Along the River: Marietta to Columbia
9:00 am – 11:30 pm
Discover the Susquehanna National Heritage Area from the water. Join us for one of our three heritage tours this summer. Explore iron furnaces, learn about the rich logging history and follow old canal paths as you discover the many ways the river has been used for industry and commerce throughout history.

Kayak excursions will be led by professional kayak guides and SNHA staff. Kayaking on the Susquehanna River takes moderate effort, making this paddle best for intermediate paddlers, or those who have paddled on a river before. Registration of $25.00 per person includes your kayak, paddle, PFD, transportation, and guided tour from Susquehanna National Heritage Area staff. Option of single or tandem kayaks available. Personal kayaks are not permitted.

JULY 31: Summer Heritage Paddle II

The Endless Mountains Heritage Region and Five Mountain Outfitters are teaming up for a benefit paddle that will take participants on a roughly 7.5-mile river journey from the Hunlock Township Gardens River Access to Shickshinny Township in Luzerne County! Whether you are an experienced paddler or just a beginner, this Summer Heritage Paddle is for you! This event will benefit the Shickshinny Area Historical Society.

Before the paddle, get an update from the EMHR and its fellow PA Heritage Area, the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, about the many projects these organizations are currently working on as they relate to outdoor recreation and historic preservation. The return paddle will include a few stops and educational talks along the way. At the end of the day, mingle with fellow paddlers and enjoy a dinner from Bob’s Barbecue of Bloomsburg and a tasting with the Five Mountain Brewing Company.

Registration is $60 for those bringing their own watercraft and $100 per person for those renting a kayak or tandem kayak/canoe. Registration includes your donation to the Historical Society, insurance, the dinner, tasting and educational programming. Due to alcohol being served, this paddle is for adults 21 and over.

Coal Oil Johnny House Open During Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad Run

The Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad brings thousands of guests through “the Valley that Changed the World” annually. While the train turns around, guests can tour Coal Oil Johnny House at Rynd Farm inside Oil Creek State Park, where the home was relocated as part of its restoration, just a half mile from its original site.

The Coal Oil Johnny House, also known as the McClintock-Steele-Waitz House, near Oil City (Venango County) will be open for free tours coinciding with the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad runs on Wednesdays this summer. The structure was once home to the Oil Region’s prodigal prince, John Washington Steele. As the adopted son of a farming couple, John inherited their property and wealth accrued from leasing land to oil speculators in exchange for royalties. At the age of 20, John set out on a two-year spending spree, squandering his money on bad business deals and extravagances. He earned the nickname “Coal Oil Johnny” for his spend-thrift reputation and became a symbol of the rags to riches (and often back again) stories of the oil boom. The home is owned by the Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry & Tourism. Rehabilitated to its 1860s appearance, the structure is operated as a house museum, interpreting Coal Oil Johnny’s life and the material culture of Pennsylvania’s early petroleum industry.

Get out and explore!

This post gives you a few ideas, but there are many, many more possibilities available! Use this website as a launching pad to get to the website for each of Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas. There you’ll discover upcoming classes, festivals and special events. Follow on social media. Sign up for our (and their) enews to receive updates in your inbox. Check out our other posts for round ups about how Heritage Areas promote downtown revitalization, encourage historic preservation and contribute to quality of life for residents and visitors alike!

Share your adventures on social media with #HeritageIsNow