FAQs

General FAQs

What is Schuylkill Banks?

Schuylkill Banks is the branding for the tidal portion of the Schuylkill River, the southernmost eight miles of the Schuylkill running below the Fairmount Dam through the heart of Philadelphia. This branding is most closely tied to the Center City portion of the Schuylkill River Trail for now, but SRDC hopes to see it grow as more trail segments open in the near future.

Who manages Schuylkill Banks?

Schuylkill Banks is owned by the City of Philadelphia and operated by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. The Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) is a nonprofit that was charged by the City to help plan, build, maintain, and program the Banks. It assists with year-round maintenance, hosts innovative riverfront programming, promotes the venue, and leads fundraising and volunteer efforts for the space.

How can I help?

You can make a very visible difference on the Banks by donating to SRDC to support ongoing operations of the trail and greenway or by volunteering to assist with events or cleanups. SRDC is grateful to all of its supporters for helping to make Schuylkill Banks such a vibrant space.

How can I stay in the loop?

Subscribe to the Schuylkill Banks newsletter for monthly updates or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for all of the latest updates on Schuylkill Banks events, projects, and other news.

 

Riverboat Tour FAQs

What will I see on the tour?

Come aboard the Patriot and discover the Schuylkill River - its sights, sounds and history. From the early 1700s at historic Bartram's Garden, to the 1800s at the Fairmount Water Works, an Engineering Wonder of the World, to our 21st century award-winning skyscrapers - the Banks offers a unique setting and experience unlike any other in Philadelphia.

How early should I arrive for my cruise?

We suggest that you arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour; however you will want to allow time for potential traffic and parking.

Is there entertainment on the cruise?

As you enjoy the beautiful summer air, you will receive a narrated tour of the historical Schuylkill River and its landmarks.

Is there Beverage and Food Service on the boat?

A cash bar with snacks and a variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages will be in operation. No carry on food or beverages are allowed to be consumed on the boat, though you may bring a picnic lunch on Boat to Bartram's Garden tours to eat during your stay at the garden.

Are there any age requirements?

There are no age requirements for Schuylkill Banks Tours, but they are typically not recommended for children under 4.

What is your smoking policy?

All areas of the boat are non-smoking.

Will my cell phone work on the cruise?

Yes, your cell phone will work on the tour. Though for the comfort of other guests, we ask that you not use your cell phone while the tour is underway.

Do I need a reservation?

Reservations are highly recommended, as tours often sell out.

What should I wear?

Tours are generally relaxed; casual attire is fine.

 

Kayak Tour FAQs

What will I see on the tour?

Begin at Walnut Street and paddle upriver towards the historic Fairmount Water Works. View Philadelphia's 21st Century skyline from a unique river vantage point. A kayak tour of Schuylkill Banks offers a unique setting and experience unlike any other in Philadelphia.

Advanced kayak trips to Historic Bartram's Garden are also available as private group tours, subject to outfitter availability. Get a unique perspective on the architecture and design of bridges over the tidal Schuylkill River as you paddle downriver and travel back to a simpler time.

How early should I arrive for my tour?

We suggest that you arrive 15 minutes prior to the tour; however you will want to allow time for potential traffic and parking.

Can I join the tour if I have never kayaked before?

This is a great opportunity for first time kayakers! Before each tour begins, you will receive hands on training from certified instructors. The Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour requires a moderate exertion level.

Are there any age requirements?

All participants must be at least 8 years old. All participants under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult and participate in a tandem kayaking experience with an adult in their party. Parental consent is required for participants younger than 18 years old.

What should I bring?

We recommend that you bring sunscreen and a bottle of water. Do not bring any personal items. There will be a place to leave car keys and other small items, however, other personal items are best left at home if possible. Some individuals do decide to bring a camera in the kayak with them. Please place all cameras in a waterproof bag, as they may get wet. The Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Hidden River Outfitters, and the City of Philadelphia hold no responsibility for personal items that suffer water damage or end up at the bottom of the Schuylkill River.

What should I wear?

Plan to wear weather-appropriate clothes, including stable shoes, that can get wet. Hats and sunglasses are also recommended on sunny days.

Do I need a reservation?

Reservations are highly recommended. Tours often sell out, so we recommend buying tickets early whenever possible.