Stretch and I met at Lock 60 on the Schuylkill Canal for an afternoon of canoeing. There is a five mile loop that leads down the Schuylkill River and back up the Schuylkill Canal after a short portage. We put in near Lock 60 and just below the Black Rock Dam on the river.
The current was strong enough that we didn’t actually have to put much effort into paddling and we reached the portage point in less than an hour. Since it was going so fast, we decided to stop and have a drink break for a while.
We eventually carried / dragged the canoe the short distance to the canal. That canoe is heavier than expected. So we took another break at the other end of the portage before putting the canoe into the canal.
We paddled upstream, seeing ruins on one side of the canal, and current residences on the other side. There wasn’t too much wildlife, but we did see a few ducks.
At the spillway, we came across a floating barrier and thought we’d have to portage again, but a guy on land helpfully untied it and lifted it up for us to go under. We soon realized the need for the barrier as we were engulfed in the smell of oil and could see the sheen of it on the water. We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.
The paddle back up the canal took a bit longer than the first leg. We reached the top, pulled the canoe out of the water, and I moved my car as close as possible to load up the canoe so we didn’t have to carry it any farther.
It was a nice little loop to paddle, if a bit short. We followed it up with nearby dinner and bluegrass.