The Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh Rivers Sojourn is back, June 3-6, 2021!

Experience Your Rivers’ Past, Present, and Future with CVC.

See your world from a new point of view!

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!

This year we’ll be taking you on journey of the past, present, and future of the Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley, as we explore the rivers and welcome guest speakers each day. 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 safety paddlers accompany our group throughout the journey.

Bring the Entire Family for Kid’s Day!

This year, we’re very excited to offer special kid’s pricing on Saturday, June 5th! Register your children, up to 14 years old, for just $10. Children must be accompanied by an adult. We’ll float 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.

Register Early

Registration is limited to the first 50, so please register early to guarantee your spot.

Non-Members:
$40 per person / per day

CVC Members:
$35 per person / per day

Saturday Only Kid’s Pricing:
$10 per child / up to 14 years old

CVC memberships are just $25 and include your entire household. Become a CVC Member today to protect our rivers and support conservation in the Kiski-Conemaugh River Valley and check out our other event discounts.

Prices do not include boat rentals. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Register Now

Itinerary

Day 1 – Thursday:

We’ll depart Johnstown from Sandyvale and travel approximately 9 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:

On Day 3, sojourners are invited to dress like a character from the future!

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. Saturday’s trip is approximately 12 total 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.

River Rebellion

In 2019, the Stony-Kiski-Conemaugh River Sojourn was a celebration the river and the rebellious spirits that have 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 that enjoyed our weekend of kayaking, hands-on learning, and educational guests. See you in 2021!

Boating Equipment & Shuttling

If you choose to 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.

Conemaugh Valley Conservancy will help to transport boats between access area, however, renters will be required to make rental arrangements with the outfitter of their choice. Rentals include your boat, paddle or oars, PFD (life jacket), and safety whistle. Please see a list of trusted outfitters below.

Coal Tubin’
Johnstown, PA (Best for Day 1)
(814) 254-4393

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

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

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. Shuttles will be provided to get participants to and from their vehicles throughout the sojourn.

Meals & Camping

All meals, with the exception of Saturday’s lunch, are included in the price of your registration. On Saturday, we’ll make a midday stop at Saltsburg’s Historic Canal Days Festival, where you can buy a variety of tasty, carnival foods and treats, browse through handmade crafter’s tents, or tour the Rebecca B. Hadden Stone House Museum.

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.

New Connections Between Old Neighbors

The Kiski-Conemaugh Water Trail is a key feature on the Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway, a 320-mile corridor of hub communities and heritage sites, connected by both land and water trails, roughly following the path of the Historic Main Line Canal.

The Sojourn Committee

This event is made possible by the dedicated volunteers on the Sojourn Committee. Each year they do an outstanding job planning paddling routes and menus, coordinating river activities, securing sponsors, planning transportation, and more. If you have a knack for marketing or planning or you love kayaking, consider joining the committee. Fresh faces are always welcome. 

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