If you’ve been talking about boating on the Schuylkill River for years now — as so many long-time residents do — there’s a perfect, only in Philadelphia, quirky boating adventure going down next month. For the fifth consecutive year, the Walnut2Walnut River Challenge welcomes rowers and boaters to hit the river and check out a course boasting beautiful views of the city in a low-key “race” that looks like a worthwhile endeavor.
The Walnut2Walnut River Challenge invites rowers and boaters of all ages and skill levels to participate in the event’s 15-mile course touring both the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, passing some killer views of the city and, let’s admit it, Instagram-worthy moments along the way. While this is a great event to break out your personal kayak, canoe or rowboat, you don’t have to be in possession of a vessel to participate — boat rentals will be available through Hidden River Outfitters.
While this event is akin to a race, we wouldn’t necessarily call it a race — rather, it’s more of a boating adventure, as participants are encouraged to stop and smell the roses, soak in the views, and take breaks along the way. The Walnut2Walnut River Challenge is taking place on Sunday, September 30, and check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. that day, though boat launch doesn’t occur until 10 a.m.
The 15-mile boating adventure course is estimated to take about five hours, so an after-party is on the books for 1 to 6 p.m. at the Independence Seaport Museum (211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard), where the finish line is located. Boats depart from the Schuylkill Banks at 25th and Manning Streets.
Last year, there were over 80 boats on the water participating in the Walnut2Walnut River Challenge, so this event certainly draws a crowd. The Challenge is actually a part of a larger effort encouraging Philadelphians to explore and appreciate local bodies of water, hosted by the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River — an alliance through the Independence Seaport Museum. Whether you’re renting a boat or bringing your own, register your vessel for $35 here.
Here’s to exploring and splashing around on our city’s marvelous waterways!
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