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On June 30, the Schuylkill River Heritage Area hosted the first of several Pedal and Paddle events scheduled for this summer.
This is the second year for the Pedal and Paddle event. After having success with the event in its first year last year, the SRHA brought the trip back again. Because of the popularity of these events, the remaining trips have all been filled for this summer.
The event consisted of a 4.5 mile scenic bike ride from the Schuylkill River Heritage Area location in POttstown to the Historic Morlatton Village in Douglassville.
Once there, the group met with a guide who conveyed background information about the village and allowed the group inside three of the buildings, including the White Horse Inn and the Mouns Jones House, the oldest building in Berks County.
While inside, the group learned interesting facts and stories about each of the buildings. They learned how Berks County residents lived and survived in the early days of settlement on the Schuylkill River, and some of the important historical figures that passed through the village. One of those people was George Washington, who stayed at the White Horse Inn on two separate occasions.
After touring the buildings, the group traveled half a mile back toward Pottstown and stopped at Ganshahawny Park, where they enjoyed lunch and took a short introductory course in kayaking.
Once the course was completed, they tackled the Schuylkill River, completing the paddle portion of the Pedal and Paddle event.
Jaime Malinowski and her mother, Sydne Romij were two of the participants.
“I got the email from the heritage center and forwarded it to her ,” Romij said.
“It sounded fun,” Malinowski added.
The purpose of the event is to “promote recreation along the trail and river,” Laura Catalano, spokesperson for the Schuylkill River Heratage Area said.
The more people who ride the trail and understand the resources that are used to keep the trail in riding shape, they are “more likely to protect those resources,” Catalano said.
There will be two more Pedal and Paddle events this summer. The next one is scheduled for July 21 and the final one is September 15. There will be an event on August 25, but due to the uncertainty of the water level at that time, there will be no paddle portion for that outing. Instead, a historic tour of Pottstown will be offered.
The Heritage Area is looking to expand its repertoire from just buildings and scenic locations, and has plans to create a new bike tour called Cycles and Cemeteries, in 2013.