This adventurous wellness program is geared for those interested in learning how to kayak and is part of the Dauphin County Parks & Recreation Department Park Rx program sponsored by Highmark Blue Shield which subsidizes a portion of the program cost.
- Enjoy approximately six miles of easy paddling for approximately two hours on the normally gentle, tree-lined Swatara Creek! This guided two-hour evening paddle will let you discover firsthand why many are getting involved in this healthy life-long hobby.
- Guides will provide kayak skill instruction before and during the trip. Participants should be in moderate physical condition and prepared to be physically active.
- Everything is provided including kayaks, equipment, shuttle, guides, and safety instruction.
Participants will meet up at Boathouse Park in Hershey where you will park your vehicle and board the Cocoa Kayak shuttle van. The van will drive you upstream to a private entry location where you will receive your instruction, kayak, paddle, etc. Your voyage will end at Boathouse Park where your vehicle is parked.
What to expect from kayak and creek:
The sit-inside kayaks were built for beginners and recreational users (NOT whitewater.) Kayak bottoms are fairly wide and flat, offering a lot of balance forgiveness. Seats are cushioned and foot braces adjustable. The Swatara Creek is gentle and no spray skirt is required. Most creek banks are lined with trees, limestone outcrops, and a few small islands mid-stream. Water levels are typically 1-3 feet with occasional deep spots. Bald eagle sightings are frequent and blue herons often fish the creekside, and turtles regularly line the river bank making incredible subjects for the quick photographer. The Swatara Watershed is a healthy ecosystem abundant with countless species of wildlife.
Participants must be at least 6 years of age to participate. Participants between ages 6-8 years old must be in a 2-person kayak with a responsible adult. A parent or other responsible adult must participate in the program. No one under the age of 18 can participate without a parent, adult family member, or guardian. Limited quantities are available.
Masks are currently required at all times while in the transport vehicle(s) to comply with COVID-19 protocols. Masks are not required while on the water in your individual kayak. All equipment is cleaned before each use. This provision may be updated as conditions warrant.
This event is rain or shine. In the event of severe weather conditions, the trip may be canceled. If we cancel the trip, we will provide a full refund. At that time, you can re-register for any available program.
You must answer the following questions for each participant as part of the reservation process which will ensure the right size kayak:
1. Is the kayak participant over 6 ft. tall?
2. Is this kayak participant over 230 lbs.?
3. You acknowledge that no renters can be under the age of 6 years old. Renters between ages 6-8 years old must be in a 2-person kayak with a responsible adult.
You will be required to sign a waiver of liability with Cocoa Kayaks, the provider of this program, before participating. A separate waiver per participant should be taken with you on the evening of your event. Click the above hyperlink for the waiver.
Kayak Trip Preparation:
1. Keep this email with your directions and details.
2. Dress in quick-drying clothing or bathing suit (no jeans or heavy cotton clothing)
3. Check the weather for additional apparel, i.e. - windbreaker, loose-fitting long pants, etc.
4. Recommended footwear: water shoes, full-strapped sandals with tread, or old sneakers (no flip flops)
5. Sunglasses, optional brimmed hat
6. Bottle of water, most kayaks are equipped with a cup holder
7. Arrive ON TIME, well-fueled, and rested. Bring your ticket confirmation and liability waiver for each attendee. As with any service industry, it is customary to give tips for an enjoyable experience.
8. Mobile phone: waterproof smartphone sensitive bags or larger containers provided
9. Leave a towel or change of dry clothing (likely unnecessary) in your vehicle at the meetup
10. Bring a carefree attitude and enjoy your adventure!
If you have questions, please reach out to Nancy Gates | Assistant Program Manager | Dauphin County Parks & Recreation Department | [email protected] | 717-599-5188, ext. 2113.