Cocoa Kayak Rentals of Hershey

Gentle Creek Kayaking

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Phone : 717-756-5766 | Email :

About Us

The owner-operator, Ben Miller, has more than thirty years outdoor experience, and has guided on the Susquehanna River the last four years. Ben has always enjoyed outdoor activities. He started with Boy Scouts when he was 6 years old and soon after added lifeguarding and fitness instruction to his skill set. Ben competes in 5K, triathlon, and numerous cross sport challenge races. Ben has years of whitewater rafting experience and safety training. 

Co-owner, Debra Miller, PhD, a nutrition scientist and researcher, is also a recreational enthusiast. Debra studies the health benefits of cocoa and chocolate for over a decade–Cocoa Kayak Rentals combines two passions. Debra competes in 5K and half-marathon races, plus the area’s first ever “runyak,” a combination 5K and kayak race. Over the last four years, Debra has spent most spring and summer weekends kayaking and guiding groups on the Susquehanna, Patuxent, and Swatara. Debra is also a Board Member for the Central Pennsylvania Red Cross.

Ben and Debra have two children (Ellie (23) & Riley (18)) who are both avid kayakers and guides. Ellie, whose professional name is Ellie Paisley, is a “live painter” at music venues across the country and serves as art director for multiple musical festivals across the U.S.  Ellie photographed most of the slide show on our website.  Check out her art page here.  She lives in Boulder, CO.  Riley, is a vital part of the crew, who you may meet as part of the Cocoa Kayak staff.  His experience and insight have helped Cocoa Kayaks grow in its first three seasons. Riley has several certifications in water safety making him a popular guide for any size group.  He is headed to Philadelphia University in the Fall of 2017.

Cocoa Kayaks occasionally uses their own access point along the Swatara Creek near Hershey, however, customers should NOT expect services or staff at “Cocoa Landing” unless specifically instructed to meet-up at DirectionsToCocoaLanding.  Ben and Debra are lifetime members of the Swatara Watershed Association, and Ben is also a Board Member on the Swatara Watershed Association.   

Swatara Watershed Association

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