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 tidal river from the Fairmount Dam at the Art Museum to the Delaware River confluence.

  • Saturday Free Boating. Every Saturday from 11am–3pm (weather & river conditions permitting), the public can explore the Schuylkill River by rowboat or kayak. Our 2018 season runs from April 28th to October 27th.
  • FAQ: Answers to your questions about Saturday Free Boating! Click here.
  • Wednesday Free Sunset Fishing: The last Wednesday of every month, April–September, 6pm- 8pm. We provide free rods, tackle, bait and basic instruction. First come, first served – supplies are limited.  No fishing license or experience necessary, great for beginner anglers.
  • Evening Full Moon Rowboating. Once a month we light up our fleet of skiffs for an evening party on the river with DJ Osagie. Drinks & snacks available for cash donation. Check the calendar for dates and more details.
  • Tidal Schuylkill Kayak Tours. Once a month we offer small group paddles south on the river. Paddlers will learn about the history and ecology of the river, and see the largest oil refinery up close from the water. For dates and more info, see the calendar.
  • 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!
  • Tuesday Sunset Paddles for Bartram’s Garden members. Memberships start at $50 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.