On Saturday, June 11, and Sunday, June 12, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will host a trip along the Clarion River for the annual River Sojourn.
Participants will travel this National Wild and Scenic River by canoe from Hallton, Pa. to Cooksburg during the two-day event. The trip includes activities and presentations centered on the theme "Into the Wilds," which focuses on the ecology and history of the river.
The Clarion River slowly meanders through scenic narrow valleys and hardwood forests, and includes numerous large pools, providing a relaxing scenic trip that is comfortable to most levels of boaters.
On the first day, participants will paddle 13 miles, beginning in Hallton and continuing through the beautiful, undisturbed Pennsylvania WILDS. In addition to experiencing a few riffles and small waves along the way, boaters will encounter a little excitement on Pine Rapid, a Class 1 to 1+ designated rapid. This day's journey ends at Clear Creek State Park, which is recognized as an Important Bird Area – so bird watchers should bring binoculars.
Day two, which covers 10.5 miles, will launch from Clear Creek State Park. Sunday's leisurely paddle will pass through several Important Bird Areas, including a locally known bald eagle nesting area high in the hills of the Wild and Scenic River Corridor. Along the journey, staff members will speak with participants about the area's flora and fauna, as well as current WPC projects and initiatives. The event will come to an end at the Pale Whale Canoe Fleet Livery in Cooksburg.
Participants are welcome to attend either day individually for $65, or both days as a package for $95. Registration fees include daily meals, canoe rental, educational programs and shuttle service for the event. Lodging is not included; participants must reserve their own overnight accommodations.
WPC has a long history of conservation efforts along the Clarion River, starting in 1977. More than 12,276 acres have been protected and have led to State Game Lands, Clear Creek and Cook Forest State Parks, and the Allegheny National Forest. The longest stretch of protection is 8.6 miles starting at just south of Cooksburg.
Sponsors for the sojourn include Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Pennsylvania WILDS, and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC).
To register for the River Sojourn or for more information, contact Kelly Horrell at (724) 471-7202 ext. 5100 or by email at khorrell@pa conserve.org. Register online using a credit card at http://goo.gl/XbUG6. Download and fill out the registration packet at http://goo.gl/jwxLn. The registration deadline is Friday, May 27.