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General FAQs

What is Schuylkill Banks? Schuylkill Banks is the branding for the tidal portion of the Schuylkill River, which is the southernmost eight miles of the Schuylkill running below the Fairmount Dam to the Delaware River. This branding is most closely tied to the accessible areas of the riverbank along Center City, Grays Ferry Crescent, Bartram's Mile, and Bartram's to 61st Street.

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 is working with the City to help plan, build, maintain, and program Schuylkill Banks. SRDC assists with year-round maintenance, hosts community programming, promotes the trail and greenway, and leads fundraising and volunteer efforts for this public amenity.

What can I do when visiting Schuylkill Banks? There is a lot to see and do along Schuylkill Banks all year long. Check out the Activity Guide, Events, and Trail Map for things to do, suggested routes, interesting destination, and more.

How can I help? You can make a very visible difference on Schuylkill Banks by donating to SRDC to support ongoing operations of the trail and greenway, volunteering to assist with events or cleanups, and sponsoring programs. 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 FacebookX (formerly known as Twitter), or Instagram 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 sights, sounds, and history of the tidal Schuylkill. 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. Schuylkill 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 unique views and fresh 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 is available on the boat. 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 riverboat tours.

What is your smoking policy? All areas of the boat and park 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. Make a reservation here.

What should I wear? Tours are generally relaxed; casual attire is fine.


Kayak Tour FAQs

What will I see on the tour? Tours begin and end at the Walnut Street Dock and paddle to/from the historic Fairmount Water Works. Along the way, you will paddle under bridges and past Philadelphia's ever-changing skyline, and you will get up close to where the Fairmount Water Works meets the river. Kayak tours provide a unique experience of the tidal river and Philadelphia.

Advanced kayak trips to 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.

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. Kayak tours require a moderate exertion level.

Are there any age requirements? All participants must be at least 12 years old. All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Parental consent is required for participants younger than 18 years old.

What should I bring? We recommend that you bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, 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 and 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. Make a reservation here.


Have a question that has not been answered here? Send us your question by emailing us at [email protected], submitting your question using the Contact Form, or calling our office at 215-309-5523.