A summer hotspot in the Philadelphia community, the Schuylkill River Banks is an escape from the construction and sweltering mid-July heat that consumes the heart of the city. Whether you’re taking a late afternoon stroll or training for a marathon, the banks is the place to be. The Schuylkill River Banks includes the tidal portion of the Schuylkill River, which is the southernmost 8 miles of of the river that runs below the Fairmount dam into the heart of Philadelphia. However, the banks is just a portion of the 130 mile-long Schuylkill River Trail, giving ambitious city-dwellers the opportunity to extend their trek outside of Philadelphia’s borders.
Aside from providing a trail for walkers and runners, the Schuylkill River Banks offers a space for Riverboat tours, Kayak tours, Standup paddle boarding, Yoga, Skateboarding, Movie Nights, and many more community events. On Thursday, July 27th, the next “Secrets of the Schuylkill” Riverboat tour will leave the dock to explore the history of the Schuylkill and its notable landmarks. Reservations are highly recommended as these tours sell out fast, but there are plenty of scheduled tours to attend throughout the summer! For a more physically active tour of the Schuylkill, sign up for a kayak tour that will take you from Walnut Street to the historic Fairmount Water Works. Also, look out for a special Moonlight Kayak Tour on August 5th and for some of the more advanced tours that explore the historic Bartram’s Gardens.
On Wednesday and Friday evenings, Standup Philly (SUP) offers 2-hour standup paddleboarding tours across the Schuylkill. To explore on your own, stop by their facility in the community boathouse at Bartram’s Garden. Right along the Schuylkill, new and experienced yogis can participate in “Yoga on the Banks”, led by Erin Gautsche and Ashley Renee Wagner. The class is an all levels donation-based flow that is held at the grassy area adjacent to the 25th and Locust trail entrance. Check out their official website to view the 2017 class schedule! The Schuylkill River Banks also serves as a meeting place for family-friendly community events, including frequent movie nights.
Over the years, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) has been working hard to help plan, build, maintain, and program the banks without disrupting the current flow of visitors. SRDC’s work allows the Schuylkill River Banks to be a dynamic and inclusive environment for the diverse Philadelphia community. Most notably, SRDC and the city of Philadelphia have embarked on a project to extend the Schuylkill Banks all the way to the Delaware River. To stay updated on the area’s events and projects, visit their website and keep up with their blog!