Delaware River Sojourn early bird registration extended. Register now and save.

Interested paddlers are reminded that it is not too late to register for the 18th Annual Delaware River Sojourn, which will be held from Sunday, June 24 through Saturday, June 30.  The early bird registration discount of $10/day has been extended for individuals registering by June 22.

The Delaware Sojourn is a guided paddling, learning, and camping adventure on and along the “Wild and Scenic” Delaware River.  Participants may sign up for the entire seven-day trip or for the day(s) of their choice.

The cost for Sojourners who register by June 22 is $80 per day for participants 16 and older and $50 per day for ages 15 and under.  An additional one-time $5 per person insurance fee will be charged to non-members of the American Canoe Association, which sanctions the event.  Add $10 to the daily rates for registrations made after June 22.

Split into daily trips ranging from eight to 15 miles, a total of nearly 75 miles of the main stem Delaware River will be paddled.  From the pristine wilds of the upper section, through the tranquility of the Delaware Water Gap, to the suburban lower Delaware and freshwater tidal estuary, the Sojourn offers a full experience of the river to paddlers of all skill levels.

The theme of the 2012 Sojourn is Adventures on the Delaware.  “This year’s itinerary will allow participants to paddle the class I/II rapids of Skinners Falls (on June 25) and Foul Rift (on June 27), the most challenging on the river, under the supervision of our experienced safety team,” said Rich Egan, chair of the 2012 steering committee.  “The adventure continues as we highlight various activities one can do on and along the Delaware, such as birdwatching, hiking local trails, swimming, and camping,” Egan continued.

Other notable programs this year include a presentation and book-signing by author Gary Letcher (A Paddler’s Guide to the Delaware River) on the evening of June 26 and a visit to the Nurture Nature Center in Easton, Pa. on the evening of June 28.

Registration fees cover the guided river trip, single or tandem kayak rental (with paddle and life jacket), shuttle transportation, educational programs, most meals, a souvenir T-shirt, and overnight camping sites.  Participants may bring their own river-worthy boat, but please note that aluminum canoes are not recommended.

The Delaware River was named Pennsylvania’s River of the Year in 2011 and received a grant to hold activities and events geared towards connecting individuals to the river.  A small portion of that funding remains and is being used in 2012 to support adult first-time paddler discounts and reduced children’s fees, which are $10 less this year than in 2011.  The Delaware Sojourn also received a grant from the Pa. Organization for Watersheds and Rivers to further help subsidize the 2012 event.

Additional financial assistance for the 2012 Sojourn was provided by corporate donor ShopRite, local business donors Hancock House Hotel, LLC (Hancock, N.Y.) and Café Devine (Callicoon, N.Y.), as well as several individual donors.  The Sojourn is also appreciative of the generosity of its many partners who are providing livery and shuttle service, camping locations, meals, the 2012 T-shirt design, and programs this year.

Registration details, daily plans, event guidelines, listing of partners, and more is available on the Sojourn web site at www.delawareriversojourn.org.  Individuals can register online with PayPal until the day before they wish to paddle or they can mail in the downloadable registration form with payment; mail-in registrations must be received by June 22.  A limited number of “walk-in” registrants will be accepted on the morning of each Sojourn day, provided that space is still available on the trip.

Registration-related questions and discount availability inquiries may be directed to Dejay Branch, Upper Delaware Preservation Coalition, at (646) 205-2724 or info@riversojourn.com.

By getting individuals out on the river to experience it first-hand, the Delaware Sojourn aims to promote stewardship of the Delaware River Watershed and its resources.  The non-profit, annual event is organized by a steering committee comprised of representatives from federal, state, and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and individual volunteers.  This year’s committee is chaired by Rich Egan, volunteer with the National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.