By Betsy Natter
Make plans now to spend time this spring and summer on Montgomery County’s beautiful Perkiomen Creek. Three special events sponsored by the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy will allow participants to challenge their physical stamina, enjoy and learn about the natural habitat surrounding the watershed and simply have fun. It’s the Perkiomen Trifecta and participation in all three events will get you entered into a drawing to win a kayak from Eastern Mountain Sports!
Lenape Survival Challenge
Begin Sat. April 22 with the 25th annual Lenape Survival Challenge. The two-person race features a 5 mile run followed by a 2+ mile canoe race down the Perkiomen Creek. Starting at 9 am at the Conservancy property, participants will cross fields and run up and down the wooded trails on Spring Mountain before entering the water. Serious competitors typically complete the race in 1 hour, while more casual participants take additional time.
Participants register in teams of any gender and age. Competition age categories are determined by the combined age of both racers. No prior experience is necessary, although it is recommended that you have some knowledge of canoeing. All equipment for the race, including canoes, life vests and paddles are provided and paid for by the race fees and through the generous support of the event sponsors. Participants must be at least 16 years old to participate and need the permission of an adult if they are a minor. Regular registration is open until March 31 online and closes on April 16.
All participants receive a Lenape Challenge tech T-shirt and post-race refreshments. Spectators are encouraged to watch from several locations along the race route. Prizes are awarded for the Grand Champions and the top three finishers in each category. Visit the race page on the Conservancy website for all the details, a peek at the course map, canoeing tips and more.
Perkiomen Creek Sojourn
If you are looking for a slower-paced event, then plan on participating in the Perkiomen Creek Sojourn on Sat., June 3 from 9am – 3:30 pm. The day trip is led by conservancy guides along a seven mile stretch of the Perkiomen. Learn about the human and natural history of the area and enjoy lunch on a secluded gravel bar mid-stream. There is a fee for the expedition but a free shuttle bus will be available to assist with transportation so cars can be taken to the out point prior to the event. Rentals for canoes and kayaks are available or bring your own. Space is limited so register online early.
Perk to Pub
The final piece of the Perkiomen Trifecta is the annual Perk to Pub event scheduled for Sat. Aug. 26. Starting at 9:45 am from Deep Creek Lake parking area in Green Lane Park. Participants will bike a 13 mile stretch of the Perkiomen Trail to the Appalachian Brewing Company in Collegeville, PA. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the trail and then relax with a free beverage and access to the ABC Hors d’oevres Bar. Cost for the event is $30 for members and $45 for non-members with proceeds benefiting the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy. Participants may drop the cars off at the Brewing Company prior to the event and take the free shuttle bus up to Green Lane to start the ride; bikes must be delivered to Green Lane earlier in the morning. Bicycle rentals are also available for $20. See the conversancy website for event details and registration.