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.
Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm
May 13 to October 14, 2023
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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 vending machine located in the Barnyard by the Welcome Center.
Weekly Free Catch-and-Release Fishing
Wednesdays, 5-8 pm
May 3 to August 30, 2023
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 70 dedicated volunteers. Want to get involved? Click here to sign up!
No previous boating, fishing, swimming, or river experience required! Volunteers get access to our fleet of kayaks for personal use.
Volunteer orientation will begin in April 2023. Volunteers must attend a 3-hour orientation and commit to 6 shifts between May and October 2023. Shifts are approximately 2.5-3 hours long.
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.
Tidal Schuylkill River
Learn more about this vibrant tidal ecosystem at the heart of Southwest Philadelphia.
Wednesday, June 7, 5:00 pm
Wednesday Free Fishing (CANCELED)Get Information
Saturday, June 10, 10:00 am
Saturday Free BoatingGet Information
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...Read More