It's time to register for the 2012 Lehigh River Sojourn. Now in its 16th year, the Sojourn offers a three-day paddling adventure meandering through the forests and metro-wilderness of the Lehigh River Valley.

"If you ever thought about experiencing the Lehigh River, this is the best time to do it as part of the Sojourn," said Chris Kocher, president of the Wildlands Conservancy. "You have a guided trip with safety officers, and there's educational programs and meals. It makes getting out and seeing the river relatively easy."

Kocher shared some of the comments he has heard from people after their first Lehigh River Sojourn: "I had no idea this was here. I had no idea it was this beautiful. I had no idea we would see this much wildlife. I had no idea that this was just in my backyard."

The 2012 Lehigh River Sojourn, an educational whitewater rafting, canoeing or kayaking trip down the Lehigh River, runs from Friday, June 22 to Monday, June 25 from the rural wilderness of the Upper Division of the Lehigh River in Lehigh Gorge State Park, to the metro-wilderness of Cementon as the Lehigh River enters historic industrial territory.

On Friday, June 22, for those who come early, camping is available at Mauch Chunk Lake Park.

Ÿ Day 1 - Saturday morning June 23, it's bright-eyed and bushy tailed for a hot breakfast and a day of adventure paddling whitewater rafts with Pocono Whitewater on a dam release Class II-III trip from Drake's Creek to Glen Onoko through the majestic Lehigh Gorge State Park, which covers 6,107 acres in Luzerne and Carbon Counties. At a halfway stop, there will be a talk on DCNR's Get Outdoors PA Program. Evening entertainment will be provided by guitarist/singer Mike Miskie.

Ÿ Day 2 - Sunday, June 24, it's canoeing and kayaking from Jim Thorpe to Walnutport led by safety director Jerry McAward and a team of guides from Jim Thorpe River Adventures. Midway through, the trip will stop at the East Penn Township boat launch, where Sara Fitzsimmons from the American Chestnut Foundation will talk about the Wildlands Conservancy's joint project of re-establishing the American chestnut and the recently planted American chestnut orchard at the Trexler Nature Preserve. There will be evening entertainment by Miskie.

Ÿ Day 3 - Monday, June 25, the canoe/kayak ramble leaves Walnutport bound for its Cementon takeout. The scenic trip passes relics from the canal period including a breached dam and the best preserved remnants of a Bear Trap Lock, a river lock used before the Lehigh Navigation System. Stopping below the Treichler's Bridge at midday, there will be a presentation on native plants.

The Sojourn concludes at the Triboro Sportsmen's Club where the last intact Lehigh Canal boat is on display. That evening, there will be closing ceremonies at 6 p.m. at the pavilion of the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, 3701 Orchid Place, in Emmaus.

Participants may join the Sojourn for one to three days. Meals are provided. Registration information is available at www.wildlandspa.org [1]. Preregistration is required. Space is limited. For more information, contact Elizabeth McKinney Dugan at (610) 965-4397 ex. 126 or email edugan@wildlandspa.org [2].