Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Took the train into Philly for a meeting at the office of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to discuss an upcoming recreational user survey and the potential for expanding access on the tidal river.
PEC recently completed a Tidal Delaware River Water Trail Guide, which can be found on this website.
The tidal portion of the river presents serious challenges for paddlers, and the difficulties that one can encounter can be are made even worse in those sections that are surrounded by bulkheads and docks. There are a few opportunities for paddlers to explore the tidal Delaware River, but not so much around the city itself. Most people in Philly paddle on the non-tidal Schuylkill River above Fairmont Dam, where one can encounter every type of human powered boat between Boathouse Row and Manayunk. The tidal Delaware River has potential for increased use by non-powered boats, but its extremely limited due to lack of access.
The tidal Delaware is not the kind of environment that will ever support private livery services for novice paddlers. But it could be a paddling destination for urban paddlers who want to paddle locally or for experienced paddlers who could be enticed by a combination of paddling and cultural amenities.
A meeting in Philly invariably involves a gastronomic adventure or two and it this case the Society Hill Hotel Bar (Paulaner Octoberfest and cheese steak) and a trip to the best gelato place on the planet. Killer diet too, which perhaps explains why one sees so many people waddling about town.