Did you know the Susquehanna River has now been designated by the National Park Service as a part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, becoming the first nationally designated water trail in the country.  We offer a variety of guided paddle tours on the Susquehanna, all of which contain some part of Early American history revolving around the Native Americans and the trade and transportation routes for Indian tribes who lived here before the English arrived in the early 1600’s.  Spend a day discovering something unique about the Susquehanna River and area streams.  Our experienced guides will not only lead you safely through your tour but also give you interesting information about the natural features, cultural or historical highlights of the area.  On several of our tours, we invite various experts along to add to your experience.  Our Paddle Day Tours feature a snack or full lunch that you will take along in your kayaks. 

Individual Tour pricing is below.  Rental Kayaks for Paddle Day Tours – $45/Single Kayak; $50/Double Kayak

Wrightsville via the Conejohela Flats Guided Paddle Tour

Saturday, June 23, 2018, 10:30am-3:30pm

Our put-in point on this guided paddle tour is the Susquehanna River at John Wright.  Follow the path of the Susquehanna Canal and then experience several different kids of paddling waters.  Pick your way through the rocks of an old canal dam and Native American fish traps, skirt some river islands, and then experience the tranquil waters of the Conejohela Flats.  This area is home to many migratory birds as well as resident osprey and bald eagles.  Then cross the river and end up at Shank's Mare.  Our experienced guides will share highlights of these paddling points, and for a breather you'll enjoy a packed picnic lunch on the Flats. Rental kayaks are available.

Fee includes Shuttle, Tour, Guide & Lunch – $66/Person*

Lock 15 Paddle Tour

Monday July 16 or Saturday August 18, 2018 - 11am-3pm

The rock formations in this area of the river are still a mystery to geologists, and this part of the Susquehanna is unlike any of the other areas we paddle.  It is truly one of our favorite destinations on the Susquehanna.  As you meander through the unique formations, you may stop to take a dip, use your camera to capture the awesome landscape, and enjoy a picnic lunch provided for your tour.

Fee includes Shuttle, Tour & Lunch-$66/Person*

Native American Rock Art Paddle Tour

Saturday July 28 or Sunday August 26, 2018 - 10am-4pm

The rocks containing Native American Art are one of the most unique sites on the Lower Susquehanna.  Accompanied by expert Paul Nevin, we’ll paddle to these rocks located on Lake Aldred of the Susquehanna and view the Native American “petroglyphs” that tell the story of people who have populated the river hundreds or even thousands of years ago.  Spend the day on the rocks, hear the stories of these fascinating landmarks, and enjoy a picnic lunch with some very scenic paddling.

Fee-including shuttle, guides & lunch - $73/Person*

Susquehanna Pedal & Paddle Guided Tour

Sundays, June 3, July 15, Aug. 5 or Sept. 9, 2018 - 9am-1pm
How about combining two modes of travel on two different trails in one day.  Meet at the John Wright parking lot and begin your travels with a guided bicycle ride across the Veterans Memorial Bridge to pick up the Northwest Rail Trail in columbia.  Pedal north to Riverfront Park at Vinegar Ferry Road north of Marietta.  Take a breather for a packed picnic lunch.  Then grab your kayak, launch and enjoy a guided paddle on the Susquehanna River down to the John Wright boat ramp in Wrightsville.  Your circular route passes some of the most beautiful scenery in York and Lancaster Counties.  We are happy to join forces with The Cycle Works in Wrightsville to bring you this terrific tour.
Fee - includes shuttles, guides and lunch - $67/Person*
Bike Rental if Needed - $25/Bike; Kayak Rental if Needed - $38/Single Kayak, $48/Double Kayak.  Reservations required.

Unwind Paddle Tour, Music & Meal Series

This program will be offered each night during the summer when we have live music scheduled on our porch.  Shank’s Mare guides will lead you on a leisurely paddle tour along the shoreline suitable for those who have never kayaked before, or anyone who wants to enjoy a relaxing paddle.  The fee will include your kayak rental, a one hour guided paddle tour, a delicious boxed picnic dinner, and of course, the live music on the porch at Shank’s Mare.  What a great way to spend a summer evening at the river!  Bring chairs, blankets, etc. and BYOB welcome.  Pre-registration is required for this program

Fridays, June 8 or June 22, 2018 -  6-9pm

Fridays, July 13, 2018 -  6-9pm

Fridays, August 10 or August 24, 2018 -  6-9pm

Fee – including guided tour, kayak rental, box dinner & live music - $38/Person*   
$10 off if you have your own kayak.  Reservations Required.

Wrightsville to Long Level Shuttle for Self-Guided Paddle Tours

Saturdays - June 2 and 30, July 7 and 21, August 4 and 25, Sept. 8 and 22, 2018
11:00am sharp from Shank's Mare - Return to Shank's Mare by 4:30pm - Reservations Required.

Want to paddle and explore the Lower Susquehanna on your own?  Make reservations for our shuttle service from Shank's Mare to the ramp at John Wright.  From there you have miles of beautiful river to travel.  View the remains of the dam that backed up water for the Susquehanna Canal in the 1800's.  Paddle past the footprint of the old canal that is still visible.  Explore the fish traps used by the Native Americans, and paddle behind Conejohela Flats where you are sure to view a wide variety of birds.  Meet us at Shank's Mare for an 11:00 am sharp shuttle departure.  We'll load you and your kayak or SUP on our trailer and van and take you to the launch in Wrightsville,  You'll paddle back at your own pace, arriving at Shank's Mare no later than 4:30pm.  Your car will be at Shank's Mare, so you can load your gear and call it a day.  Rental kayaks are available.  If you have questins on paddling ability for this section of the river, we'll be happy to discuss it with you.
Fee - with your own kayak - $12/Person/Kayak ($6 for extra person in same kayak).
Fee - with rental kayak - $6/Person plus regular rental rates.
Reservations required.

*Adventure Club discounts available.  Click HERE for details.

Shank's Mare can offer private guided paddle tours to various sections of the Susquehanna on request.  If you have a group, give us a call at 717-252-1616 and we can discuss destinations and details.

Paddle & Dine Programs

Here's a nice alternative to dinner and a movie.  Enjoy a guided paddle on the river followed by a delicious dinner in The Rookery banquet room, or riverside on our porch or lawn.  Grab some friends and reserve a table or come on your own.

Kick Off the Season Paddle & Dine

Friday May 25, 2018 - 6:00pm
It's the peak of Spring marking the beginning of paddling season on the river.  Let's gather and celebrate with a guided paddle followed by dinner in The Roookery featuring a multi-course meal with fresh springtime food.  Make reservations for yourself or a whole table of friends.  Paddle is leisurely and suitable for beginners.  BYOB welcome.
Fee - includes guided paddle and meal - $42/Person*. 
Rental kayaks available.

Beer & Brats Paddle Taste & Dine

Friday June 15, 2018 - 6:00pm - Tasting Partner TBA
Friday August 17, 2018 - 6:00pm - Tasting Partner TBA
Friday September 14, 2018 - 6:00pm - Tasting Partner TBA
Take a guided paddle on the Susquehenna...the perfect thing to do on a warm summer night.  Then, enjoy a craft beer tasting at Shank's Mare with one of our local brewers.  Top it off with brats from the grill and all the sides you need for a delicious picnic supper.  Grab some friends for this fun night.  BYOB welcome
Fee - includes guided paddle, tasting, picnic supper, complimentary glass with dinner - $59/Person*. 
Rental kayaks available.

Paddle & Pizza with Shank's Mare & The John Wright Restaurant

Wednesdays - June 20 or July 18 or August 15, 2018 - 6:00-8:00 pm

hank's Mare is teaming up with our friends at The John Wright Restaurant.  Enjoy a guided kayak tour on the Susquehanna River at the Veterans Memorial Bridge. Explore the footprint of the old Susquehanna Canal and the remains of the famous bridge burned during the Civil War.  Then head to the patio at John Wright for their delicious brick oven pizza.  Please note that this tour meets and leaves from teh boat launch at John Wright in Wrightsville.
Fee - includes guided paddle tour - $20/Person*.  Children under 12 years - $15/Child*.
Kayak Rentals - $29/Single Kayak; $39/Double Kayak.

Paddle Cruise & Crackin' Crabs on the River

Saturday July 21 or August 11, 2018 - 5:00pm
What could be more about summer than paddling the river and cracking some crabs!  Join us for a guided, leisurely evening paddle.  Then relax on Shank's Mare's lawn and crack some crabs plus enjoy tasty summer dishes (plenty filling for those who don't eat crabs).  BYOB is welcome, and you can make arrangements for rental kayaks.  Price includes the guided paddle and summer dishes.  Let us know with your reservatin how many crabs you want (lots of 1/2 dz.).  We'll get them freshly steamed and you pay market price.  Let's get paddlin' and crackin'.
Fee - includes guided paddle & summer dishes - $36/Person*. 
Rental kayaks available.

Autumn Evening Paddle & Dine

Friday September 21, 2018 - 6:00pm
Paddle the river as dusk settles and fall arrives.  Then head to The Rookery for a delicious multi-course meal featuring autumn food selections.  Grab friends and family and reserve a table or come on your own.  It's a grea time of the year to enjoy the river and the harvest bounty of our local farms.  BYOB welcome.
Fee - includes guided paddle and meal - $42/Person*. 
Rental kayaks available.

*Adventure Club discounts available.  Click HERE for details.


Chesapeake Bay Paddling Trip

2018 Dates TBA

Each year we explore some area of the Chesapeake Bay.  Stay tuned for our destination and dates for the 2018 trip. It's a great way to discover new paddling areas not far from home!

Lodging and meals are provided .  Accommodations are comfortable vacation homes that we use as a home base. Rental kayaks are available although please note that this is NOT a beginner trip. Transportation to and from our destination is your responsibility. Shank’s Mare provides experienced trip leaders who reserve the right to determine participant’s qualifications for any trip. Our staff is available to assist with any trip planning questions.   


Including lodging and meals – Depends on destination.


A 50% non-refundable deposit is required for reservations. Entire trip fee is due 30 days prior to departure. Refunds will be made only if your vacated spot is filled and the trip is full.

Pine Island, Florida Paddling Trip

Week #1 – January 30-February 5, 2018 or

Week #2 – February 8-14, 2018

Pine Island, Florida is a hidden gem located in the beautiful waters off Ft. Myers, FL.  This mangrove island, composed mostly of palm tree nurseries, has avoided the high rise development of many areas in southwest Florida.  You will paddle the bays, backwaters, and shorelines of the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail, launch right from our own dock nestled in the mangroves.

Accommodations are a very comfortable waterfront home with a beautiful view of the mangroves. Greet dolphin and manatees as they visit on a regular basis. Launch kayaks and SUP’s right from our own dock. Bike 17 miles of bicycle trail accessible from the house. It’s a great way to escape the PA Winter!  Our itinerary will be very relaxed with plenty of time to paddle, bike, bird, fish and explore.  Paddle as often or as little as you would like…your relaxation is key to this special trip.

Meals including breakfast, lunch, hors d’oeuvres and dinner are provided.  Transportation to and from Pine Island is your responsibility.  Very reasonable air fares are available to the SW Florida International Airport (Ft. Myers), and there is a shuttle service from the airport to the island and our accommodations.  If you are flying, we can arrange to have equipment including kayaking gear and stand-up paddleboards for you to use.  If you choose to drive, it is a reasonable drive and you can add a variety of East Coast stops to explore on your way down or back.


Fee including accommodations and meals as described above…………………………………….$2600/Couple    

Price is based on double occupancy.  No Adventure Club applies to this program.  If you are driving and bringing your own equipment, there is plenty of storage at the house.  If you are flying, we can provide equipment for you to use during your stay, and we can provide the name of the shuttle service from the airport to the house on Pine Island.


1/3 deposit required for reservation; 1/3 payment due 11/25/17; 1/3 payment due 1/15/18.

In an effort to keep trip cost reasonable, please make your payments by check payable to “Shank’s Mare”.

Cancellations made prior to 12/15/17 are refundable.  Any cancellations made after 12/15/17 are not refundable, unless the vacant spots are filled prior to the trip.