Dock and Community Boathouse

Join us on the river!

Bartram’s Garden is a place where visitors can safely enjoy boating, fishing, and learning on the Tidal Schuylkill River. Our large public dock includes space for fishing and boating, including accessible launches.

Free Boating

Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm

June 18 to October 15, 2022

Our free public boating programs are suitable for people of all ages and skill levels. We provide all equipment and instruction for kayaking or rowboating.

No registration or experience is required. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. See our Boating FAQ for complete details.

Check our calendar for all upcoming boating opportunities. Program may be canceled in the event of inclement weather or unsafe river conditions.

Group Boating

If you are the leader of a community-based group based in Southwest Philadelphia or Grays Ferry and would like to schedule a boating program for your group, please contact riverprogram@bartramsgarden.org in advance. Boat rentals and other group reservations are not available.

Launching Your Own Boat

Non-motorized boats only. The Schuylkill River is a public waterway and our dock is a public dock, so no launch permit is needed. Our newly expanded dock features three accessible launches.

There is no vehicle access to the dock; you must carry in your boat. See this detailed map for access points and parking info.

If you have a disability that requires vehicle access, please contact riverprogram@bartramsgarden.org.

Free Fishing

More than 40 species of fish live in the Tidal Schuylkill River, including channel catfish, white perch, common carp, bluegill, and American eel. Join us for weekly free catch-and-release fishing in spring and summer or borrow a rod and tackle from the Welcome Center.

Visitors may fish at any time from our public dock or from additional riverfront locations along the North and South Mile. Live bait is available for purchase from our cash-only vending machine located in the Barnyard by the Welcome Center.

Weekly Free Catch-and-Release Fishing

Wednesdays, 5-8 pm

May 4 to August 31, 2022

We provide free rods, tackle, bait, and basic instruction for catch-and-release fishing every Wednesday from 5-8 pm in spring and summer. First-come, first-served as supplies are limited. No experience is necessary; great for beginner anglers. No fishing license required.

Program may be canceled in the event of inclement weather or unsafe river conditions.

Rods, Tackle, and Bait

Rods and tackle are available to borrow, free of charge, from the Welcome Center at Bartram’s Garden (hours vary seasonally). Equipment may be borrowed for up to a week at a time.

Community Boathouse Volunteers

The Garden’s free boating and fishing programs are sustained by more than 60 dedicated volunteers. Want to get involved? Email riverprogram@bartramsgarden.org.

Learning From the River

Water Quality Monitoring

Our Denkyem River Guardians monitor the river’s water quality and use the data to advocate for better protection of the watershed.

Denkyem River Guardians

We offer paid internship opportunities for local youth and young adults.

Tidal Schuylkill River

Learn more about this vibrant tidal ecosystem at the heart of Southwest Philadelphia.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events, but check back soon for more information.

View Calendar

River BlogGarden Insights

"Coming Soon to 56th Street"

July 5, 2022

"Coming Soon to 56th Street"

This article appeared in the print edition of our special issue of the July Southwest Globe Times Coming Soon to 56th Street Have you heard? A new Ecosystems Education Center and...

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I'm interested in:

Biking & Walking

Birds

Boating & Fishing

Flowers, Plants & Trees

Gardening

History

Kids' Activities

Sankofa Community Farm

Southwest Philadelphia

Water Quality

Workshops, Wellness & Culture

Youth Internships

I'm interested in:

Biking & Walking

Birds

Look up! More than 100 species of birds rely on this ecosystem.

Boating & Fishing

Enjoy all that the Tidal Schuylkill River has to offer.

Flowers, Plants & Trees

See what’s blooming, find a favorite tree, and stroll the gardens and natural lands.

Gardening

Bring the Garden home! Shop for plants and grow your own food.

History

Uncover the interconnected stories of this historic site.

Kids' Activities

Join us year-round to learn, make, share, and wonder.

Sankofa Community Farm

“Go back and get it!” Growing food sovereignty with an African Diaspora focus.

Southwest Philadelphia

Resources and opportunities especially for neighbors in Southwest Philly.

Water Quality

Find our latest data on the river’s bacteria levels and recent rainfall.

Workshops, Wellness & Culture

Enjoy upcoming workshops, self-care, and events. Are you a Southwest artist? Let’s partner!

Youth Internships

Calling Southwest students: paid internships available with the river, the farm, and the trees.