The Perki-Bay Expedition is designed to be a resource awareness campaign centered on the protection of the Perkiomen Creek.
The actual project consists of a 5-day paddling expedition where members of our youth conservation program paddle the Perkiomen Creek from its source to the Delaware Bay. Our goal for this expedition is to generate increased community support for the protection of the creek and it's hopeful addition to the Pennsylvania Water Trail Program.
Create Community Awareness and Engagement
- Increase protection for the Perkiomen Creek
- Establish the Perkiomen Creek as a PA State Water Trail
- Highlight the Perkiomen Creek's conservation partners
Develop a Citizen Science Monitoring Program
- Create a network of strategic data points and tests
to monitor water quality and creek health
Provide Experiential Learning Opportunities for Youth
- Expedition to serve as a capstone project for the
PWC Youth Conservation Corps
- Provide experiential learning opportunities for local
high school and college students
Publish an Expedition Documentary
- Highlight conservation needs and challenges for the Perkiomen
- Showcase the PWC's conservation partners
- Explore the recreational opportunities the Perkiomen affords
- Document the expedition and use the documentary as a teaching tool
- Disseminate the documentary to the local community
Expedition Quick Facts:
Dates: June 26 – 30, 2017
Total Mileage: 60 Miles
Paddling the trip:
6 Conservation Corps Members plus 3 Conservancy Staff, 3 Research Members, Film Crew and 2 Safety Boats
Day 1 – PWC Headquarters to Mill Grove Audubon
(11 miles – Perkiomen Creek)
Day 2 – To Conshohocken (13 miles – Perkiomen/Schuylkill)
Day 3 – To Boathouse Row / Fairmont Water Works
(13 miles – Schuylkill River)
Day 4 – To Fort Mifflin (10 miles – Schuylkill/Delaware River)
Day 5 – To Marcus Hook- Talen Stadium/Commodore Barry Bridge (13 miles – Delaware River)
Contact Ryan Beltz to learn how
you or your business can get involved!
Sponsor - Financial Contributor
* 60 Mile Club - $60 sponsorship includes expedition t-shirt and recognition on the PWC website.
* Flag Sponsor - Flags to be flown on canoes during expedition
* $1000 - Full Flag with only your logo
* $500 - Half Flag with two sponsor logos
* $250 - Quarter Flag with four sponsor logos
Partner - In-Kind Good or Service Provider
* Partners support the expedition by providing speakers, lodging, expertise, other in-kind good or services or the waiving of fees that would otherwise by incurred by the expedition.
Advocate - Expedition Promoter
*Parties who actively engage in the promotion of the Perki-Bay Expedition via email or social media, handing expedition flyers or passing out expedition literature or by providing time or space for the Conservancy to advertise the expedition.
Thank you to our Expedition sponsors!
Academy of Natural Sciences, Upper Perk High School, Wilderness Canoes
Perki-Bay Expedition Recap
On June 26, 2017 through June 30, 2017, members of the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy’s youth conservation program embarked on a five-day canoeing expedition. Sixteen students and leaders from Montgomery County, PA launched into the Perkiomen Creek at the Conservancy’s headquarters near Schwenksville, PA and traveled a total of five days: first down the Perkiomen Creek to Oaks, PA, then out the Schuylkill River through the heart of Philadelphia, and last down a portion of the Delaware River. The goal of the expedition was to raise awareness for the Perkiomen Creek as a new potential addition to Pennsylvania’s State Water Trail System. The group carried all of their own food and equipment and camped their way down the 60-mile route - in effect modeling a wilderness-style expedition through the heart of urban Philadelphia.
On Day 1, the expedition traveled 13 miles down the Perkiomen Creek from Schwenksville to the Lower Perkiomen Valley Park where they made their first camp. At the park, Michael Stokes from the Montgomery County Planning Commission greeted the group. Students had the opportunity to ask Stokes questions about the county’s recreational planning goals and how a water trail on the Perkiomen Creek would fit into the master plan. Later, the group quickly made camp, ate burritos and recounted horror stories of portaging around the Indian Head Dam earlier in the day.
On Day 2, before taking to the water, the expedition met with Tim Fenchel from the Schuylkill River Heritage Area to discuss the SRHA’s conservation goals and strategies for protecting the Schuylkill River and managing the Schuylkill River Trail. Once on the water, the expedition made great time down the remaining portion of the Perky and onto the Schuylkill River. Thunderstorms and the Norristown Dam made tough going in the afternoon and everyone was more than happy to land at the campsite in West Conshohocken.
Day 3 began early as the expedition quickly broke camp and loaded the canoes. Ahead of them were the Flat Rock Dam and a series of interviews with a number of the Conservancy’s conservation partners. The expedition team made speedy work of the morning paddle to the Flat Rock Dam. Below the portage, the group was met by paddling guides George and Manny from the Philadelphia Canoe Club. George and Manny led the expedition through the rapids below the dam and on to the canoe club headquarters at the mouth of the Wissahickon Creek. After showers and lunch, the expedition met with Kathryn Christopher from the Academy of Natural Sciences, Lizzie Hessek from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and Jennifer Adkins from the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. From these impressive ladies, the group learned about all of the conservation efforts aimed at improving water quality in the Delaware River Basin.
On Day 4, the group set out from the Philadelphia Canoe Club for what would be the longest paddling day of the trip at a distance of 14 miles in fully loaded canoes. A short paddle brought the expedition to Boathouse Row and the arduous portage around the Fairmount Dam. Two hours later, the team finally re-entered their canoes and headed through the City of Philadelphia. A stiff headwind nearly brought the expedition to a halt as they traversed the six remaining miles of the Schuykill River. The team had very little time to celebrate their feat of successfully navigating Schuylkill as the Delaware River brought higher winds and waves that crested at two feet. Undaunted, the expedition paddled the remaining miles to the night’s camp at Fort Mifflin.
Day 5 began with the weather radio’s announcement of a small craft advisory on the Delaware River. Unwilling to retreat without a fight, the expedition set out towards their goal of reaching Marcus Hook. However, after battling two-foot waves and a 25 mph+ headwind, the group finally decided to come ashore a few miles short of their goal. Despite this disappointing conclusion, the team was still able to accomplish many of its goals. The team traveled nearly 55 miles fully self-supported (minus one food drop on Day 3). The team met with a number of the Conservancy’s conservation partners. The team was able to learn more about the Delaware River Watershed. Finally, the team was able to capture the essence of the Perkiomen Creek and why it should be added to the list of PA State Water Trails. Stay tuned for the release of the expedition’s documentary film later this fall!