It is not required that non-powered boats (kayaks, canoes, or stand up paddle boards) be registered. However, it is encouraged. If your non-powered boat is lost or stolen, it will be easier to locate the owner if it is registered. For more information on registration visit the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) website
If you are launching from, or getting out at a PFBC boat launch then your non-powered boat needs to be either registered, or have a launch permit displayed. If your boat is already registered you do not need a permit. This applies to all kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards. Failure to comply with registration/permit guidelines can result in a fine. The Conestoga River has 3 PFBC boat launches/take outs. They are located at South Duke Street, Rockhill, and Safe Harbor. For more information on launches and take out locations click here.
You can either complete the process online or you can go to an authorized retailer (Issuing Agent) and complete the process in-person. If you complete the process online you will be able to print out a temporary permit to keep on your person until you receive the official permit in the mail. If you complete the process at an authorized issuing agent they will print you out a temporary permit to keep on your person until you receive the official permit in the mail. With either option it can take a few weeks to receive your official permit in the mail.
To find an authorized retailer: Click Here
To order your permit online: Click Here
Between November 1 - April 30 boaters are required to WEAR a US Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jacket when operating a boat less than 16' in length. This applies to all kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards. Between May 1 - September 30 it is not required that you wear the life jacket while operating your boat, but you must be in possession of it. All youths under the age of 12 must WEAR a life jacket year round. Failure to follow life jacket laws can result in a fine.
For more information check out the PA Fish & Boat website
Yes. You can purchase a print map of the Conestoga Water trail from the Lancaster County Parks main office for $10. More information can be found here.
PA Fish & Boat also has an online interactive map that shows all official water trails in the state, including the Conestoga River. It can be found here.
Yes, there are three dams along the Conestoga River. For more information on the location of the dams, and how to safely navigate around the dams, please visit our River Hazards page.
While personal preference dictates much of what a person brings along, here are the things we recommend everyone bring when enjoying a day on the water:
We need your help to stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS). These invaders may damage equipment and compete with native species. Anglers, paddlers, and boaters may unknowingly introduce AIS into new waters. Click Here to find out more.