On the River

Bartram’s Garden is a place where people of all ages can access one of Philly’s greatest natural resources, the Lower Schuylkill River, the eight-mile stretch of river from the Fairmount Dam at the Art Museum to the Delaware River confluence.

Enjoy free kayaking and rowboating every Saturday from our Community Boathouse; cruise the Schuylkill aboard Patriot Harbor Lines; and have a grand time at our annual Riverfest & Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade each June.

  • Saturday Free Boating. Every Saturday from 11am–3pm (weather & river conditions permitting), the public can explore the Schuylkill River by rowboat or kayak. Our 2017 season runs from April 22 to October 28.
  • FAQ: Answers to your questions about Saturday Free Boating! Click here.
  • Tuesday Sunset Paddles for Bartram’s Garden members. Memberships start at $40 a year. If you are already a member, go to the calendar and select the Tuesday you would like to attend and reserve your spot. 
  • Patriot Harbor Lines Cruises from Center City to Bartram’s Garden. Click here.
  • Launch your own boat on the river from our site. The Schuylkill River is a public waterway and our dock is a public dock – no launch permit is needed. There is no vehicle access, you must carry in your boat. See this detailed map for access points and parking info.
  • Fishing Equipment Loaner Program. Rods and tackle are available to borrow, free of charge, from the Welcome Center at Bartram’s Garden (open Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm). Equipment may be borrowed for up to a week at a time. It must be signed for by an adult (18 or older), and returned in usable condition by the specified due date, or a fee will be charged. To fish in Pennsylvania, anyone 16 or older must possess a valid fishing license.

Check out our calendar for more upcoming events on the Schuylkill, or email us with your questions!