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Beside Still Waters

Why walk through the woods when you can paddle?

Water through woods, the quintessential Pennsylvania tableau.  Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water is a celebration of it, but who needs a creek in their living room?  Get thee to a canoe, and put yourself in the picture.  Sometimes hiking the trails at Ridley Creek State Park is not enough.  You don’t have to go far afield to find serenity on a stream. 

The Brandywine sounds like it should be in the Shire, not Chester County.  Bring your fellowship to Brandywine Outfitters in Mortonville and have an adventure.

Port Providence Paddle in Phoenixville will change your opinion of the Schuylkill.  It is pretty.  Honestly!  Great food at the inn to start or end the trip.  You take the Schuylkill River Canal out and watch the snapping turtles sun themselves on the rocks before a quick portage to the river itself. 

A bit farther afield, but worth the trip, is the Delaware Water Gap, a national park that is nowhere near Delaware.  In about the time it takes to get down the shore you can make it to Edge of the Woods Outfitters.  You can take it easy and get a view of the Kittatinny Mountains after a gentle 6-mile trip, or live a bit more dangerously and brave class 1 or 2 rapids on a 10-mile trip for the more experienced. 

If urban vistas are more to your liking than verdant views, check out Hidden River Outfitters and take in the city from a different point of view.  If you time it right, you can feel the angry eyes of motorists on 76 watch you beat their pace.  And if you have ever been one of those tired and irritated drivers, now you know a way onto the water and into peace. 

If you want adrenaline, try out the dam release dates through October. Or try the calmer family-style gentle rapids or bring-your-dog-with-you day at Lehigh Grove State Park.

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