Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers Sojourn

Thursday, June 6, to Sunday, June 9, 2024

With Conemaugh Valley Conservancy

Spangler Subaru’s Share the Love Partner, 2022-2024

Our sojourn showcases the entire river valley in a spectacular four day, 44-mile float on the Stonycreek, Conemaugh, and Kiskiminetas Rivers. From Johnstown to Apollo, we’ll paddle through breathtaking vistas each day and camp each night. The sojourn will take us through deep river gorges, with views of historic canal remnants and wildlife along the way. All skill levels are welcome!

After registering, all participants will receive an information packet with detailed itinerary, directions, and everything you need to know to participate.  Register for just one day, or join us for a weekend in the great outdoors!

No Experience Necessary

The sojourn offers mostly flat paddling along the borders of Cambria, Westmoreland, Indiana and Armstrong counties, making it ideal for novice paddlers as well as those with more experience. Daily instruction is offered and designated companion boaters accompany our group throughout the journey.

Bring the Entire Family for Kid’s Day!

Join us for Kid’s Days on the river! Kid’s pricing is available on Saturday, June 8! Register your children, up to 14 years old, for just $10 each. Children must be accompanied by an adult. We’ll be floating from the Conemaugh Dam to Avonmore, with a stop at the Saltsburg’s Annual Historic Canal Days Festival.

Sight Seeing

We’ll paddle through Conemaugh Gap, one of the deepest gorges in the state, and through the scenic and secluded Packsaddle Gap. Each day we’ll make stops in historic communities like Blairsville, Saltsburg, and Apollo.

Registration is not open yet.

Itinerary

Itinerary – please note that a packet with detailed itinerary and directions will be sent to all registrants.  Please refer to that packet for your convenience. 

 

Day 1 – Thursday:

We’ll depart Johnstown from Sandyvale Memorial Gardens and travel approximately 11 miles to Seward. This day consists of mostly flat paddling with a couple of Class I or II ripples. We’ll make camp in Blairsville.

In the event of low water, we may launch from Cambria City on the west side of Johnstown.

Day 2 – Friday:

Friday is a 10-mile run through the beautiful Packsaddle Gap, featuring a mostly flat paddle with a couple of Class I or II ripples. We’ll set up camp at Conemaugh Dam.

Day 3 – Saturday:

The group will depart from Conemaugh Dam, making a stop in Historic Saltsburg halfway through the trip. The town will be holding the Historic Canal Days Festival once again! Enjoy the music and the atmosphere before we finish our paddle to Avonmore, where we’ll make camp, and enjoy time at the PNA club in town. There will be a Full Moon Paddle that evening.  Saturday’s trip is approximately 12 miles.

The Rebecca Hadden House Museum will be open during the festival.

Day 4 – Sunday:

On our last day, we’ll float approximately 7 miles from Avonmore to Apollo’s, Roaring Run Recreation Area. This day consists of mostly flat paddling.

Explore & Learn

Each year the Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh River Sojourn celebrates the river and the nature-loving spirits that have helped lead the way to their revival. Not so long ago, our rivers and streams suffered from decades of industrial pollution, filled with the rust-orange color of mining runoff. With the help of local leaders in conservation and volunteers that work year round, monitoring watersheds, the Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley has experienced an amazing rebound. Thank you to everyone joins us to experience a weekend of kayaking, hands-on learning, and educational guests. See you in June!

Boating Equipment & Shuttling

If you bring your own boating gear, you will be responsible for transporting your kayak or canoe to the launch sites. Shuttles will be provided to get participants to and from their vehicles throughout the sojourn.

All sojourners will bring their own vehicles along for the entire trip. This will allow you to leave your camping equipment and other gear safely in your vehicle while we are on the water.

If you’d like to rent a boat, please discuss rentals with the sojourn coordinator before registering.  While we have great outfitters throughout the basin, none of the outfitters are able to cover the entire sojourn course. Rentals are available in the lower basin only – so Blairsville to Apollo, Days 3 and 4. You can make your own arrangements for rentals with the outfitters below, but you will need to carefully understand their limitations.

Saltsburg Kayak + Canoe Outfitters
Saltsburg, PA
(724) 252-8520

Two Dam Kayak Rentals
Saltsburg, PA
(724) 541-7447

Meals & Camping

All meals, with the exception of Saturday’s lunch on your own at Canal Days, are included in the price of your registration.

Remember: It’s important to stay hydrated! Please bring along extra bottled water and snacks to keep with you in your boat and at camp. Potable water will be available at campsites if you wish to bring a refillable water bottle.

You are responsible for bringing your own camping gear! Remember your tent, sleeping bag, and any personal items you’ll need for the trip.

Thursday Evening – We’ll camp at the Riverfront Area near Bairdstown Bridge in Blairsville, PA. Restrooms will be available at the Blairsville Herbron Lutheran Church, and showers at the Blairsville Community Center. There is potable water at the campsite, and there are several convenience stores nearby. A volunteer will stay at camp with our gear. No open fires are permitted.

Friday Evening – Camp will be set up at Conemaugh Dam Recreation Area in Tunnelton, PA. There are no showers at this site, but there are restrooms and potable water. No open fires are permitted.

Saturday Evening – We’ll camp at the Avonmore, PA Canoe Launch and Pavilion Area. There are no restroom or shower facilities available, but port-a-johns are provided, as well as water coolers. A fire pit and firewood will be available.

If tent camping isn’t what you had in mind, here are options for nightly accommodations.

Hampton Inn & Suites – Blairsville, PA

Days Inn – Blairsville, PA

Safety

For everyone’s safety, sojourners are asked to follow all rules from our event organizers. Full details and safety requirements will be issued in registration packets. All sojourners must wear a properly fitted US Coast Guard approved PFD (life jacket) and carry a whistle on their person during all on-water activities.

In addition, this year we will be following CDC guidelines associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. As these guidelines change, we will be updating our protocols as well. Please expect for masks to be required and for social distancing practices to be in effect. As always, we thank you for your patience as we navigate these guidelines.