Sunday, June 21, 2020

Greenways Partnership Improves River, Trail Access

A woman smiles as she kayaks in the Schuylkill River during a 2018 Pedal & Paddle program organized by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area. 

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by the Schuylkill River Greenways Association.

The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area is excited to announce a strategic partnership with Take It Outdoors Adventures, a regional recreation outfitter and service company.

The unique relationship aligns with Schuylkill River Greenways’ mission to connect people to the remarkable resources of the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill River Trail. 

Take It Outdoors will provide boat rentals, a free bike share, shuttle services and educational programming. The recreational company will guide participants on where and how to access the river and trail. 

Individuals, families and small groups will have the opportunity to enjoy self-guided or assisted full-and-half-day outings, group excursions, and do-it-yourself pedal and paddle adventures combining kayaking and bicycling.

The company will had a soft opening, June 20, in time for the Father’s Day weekend. 

The recreational service is located on the banks of the Schuylkill River in Pottstown. The address is 57 E. Schuylkill Avenue. Reservations are preferred but walk-ups are welcome but will be accommodated on a first come, first served basis.

“The mutually beneficial partnership between Schuylkill River Greenways and Take It Outdoors will help people appreciate the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill River Trail through fun, meaningful and educational experiences,” said Schuylkill River Greenways Executive Director Elaine Paul Schaefer.

Take It Outdoors will provide experienced paddlers and cyclists with the tools and opportunities they need to continue these activities. The company will also instill confidence in beginners through safety and instructional assistance.

“We understand novice cyclists and paddlers can find it intimidating to experience the trail and river on their own, which is why we’re excited this partnership will provide assistance to those individuals. Recreational guides will help beginners experience the beautiful river from within a boat and the regional trail on wheels,” Schaefer said.

Take It Outdoors Adventures is an independent Pennsylvania corporation based in Pottstown with Schuylkill River Greenways as its sole member. The newly created limited liability company was formerly called Take It Outdoors Adventures and owned by Doug Chapman. After Chapman made the decision to step down, Schuylkill River Greenways established the new partnership as a continuation of a long-standing relationship with the recreational organization.

Take It Outdoors will continue to service communities along the Schuylkill River through paddling and cycling services under the direction of Noah Phillips. Popular weekly programs such as “Wednesday Night Paddles” and “Friday Night Rides” will remain under the new partnership. These group activities change location from week to week, and are open to the public to join.

Take It Outdoors will also work with local partners, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to create educational programming. Youth, residents and visitors to the area will have the opportunity to experience the river through learning objectives so they have a better understanding of the natural resource and the significant role it has throughout the region.

The collaboration between Schuylkill River Greenways and Take It Outdoors will expand the organizations’ capacity for recreational programming and its reach of diverse populations. Phillips along with all other guides are certified through the American Canoe Association for water rescue and safety training. Every customer will receive a safety briefing and beginners will have the benefit of a full introduction.

Take It Outdoors will be instituting COVID-19 safety protocols consistent with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania guidelines, Montgomery County Health Department guidelines, and CDC guidelines. Programming will be focused on individual, family and small group trips. Corporate outings and team building trips are also a new feature. 

For more information, visit the website at

The Schuylkill River Greenways NHA is a non-profit organization with the mission of connecting residents, visitors and communities to the Schuylkill River and the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT) by serving as a catalyst for civic engagement and economic development. For more information, visit

Trips, Rentals and Pricing

1. Half Day Trip: 
  • Ganshahawny Park to Take It Outdoors (Pottstown)
  • 4.5 Miles – (Approximately 1.5 – 2hrs)
  • $40 per person
  • $50 for a tandem kayak or canoe
  • Includes shuttle
2. Full Day Trip
  • Union Township Park to Take It Outdoors (Pottstown)
  • 8 Miles – (Approximately 3 - 4 hours)
  • $50 per person
  • $65 for tandem kayak or canoe
  • Includes shuttle
3. Do It Yourself Pedal & Paddle
This unique trip allows you to bike on the Schuylkill River Trail and paddle on the river. Ride a bike
from Take It Outdoors in Pottstown to either Ganshahawny Park or Union Township Park where our staff will meet you with kayaks. Then return to Pottstown on the river. This trip costs the same as the trips above based on your river put in location.

4. Shuttle Service
For individuals who already own a kayak or canoe, Take It Outdoors will shuttle you and your boat to Ganshahawny Park ($20) or Union Township Park ($25).

5. Free Bike Share
Bike Pottstown is a completely FREE bike share program. Anyone aged 16 and over can borrow a bike by providing a driver’s license or valid state ID to a program administrator. Take It Outdoors will have several bikes available for the public to borrow during operating hours. The bikes can be used for a short period of time or an entire day, but they must be returned by the time the loaning office closes.

Hours of Operation

-- Wednesdays 9 5 p.m.; (Wednesday Night group paddles 6 to 8 p.m.)
-- Thursday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
(Last shuttle for the shorter trip at 4:00 p.m.)

57 E. Schuylkill Avenue, Pottstown, PA 19464

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