Cocoa Kayak Rentals of Hershey

Gentle Creek Kayaking

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Phone : 717-756-5766 | Email :

Trip Choices

Tavern Run 9am

Trips can begin from launch sites less than 5 minutes from Hershey Park. You’ll be surprised how close the beautiful tree-lined Swatara Creek is to the center of Hershey. We offer nine trip options on 45 miles of a gentle Class I creek (fyi- Classes III- VI are whitewater). Our rentals operate with meet-up locations matched to the location of where you will finish your scheduled trip. We do NOT have a staffed location since our trips start/end on various sections of the SwataraMap2016.

Our customers often see bald eagle, great blue heron, pileated woodpecker, kingfisher, wood duck, deer, fox, mink, river otter, beaver, painted turtle, several varieties of fish and more! Additionally, remnants of the Union Canal, operated from 1828 to 1884, may be seen along the entire length of the Swatara Creek. Trip runs can be combined to extend your float time and distance. Trip choices below are listed in a downstream order. All trips are gentle under normal conditions offering “riffles” or slightly choppy water, in very few spots. Select a trip from the list below, check availability by calling or booking online.                              See “How It Works” on the right margin of this page to understand how are mobile system operates.                          

⇒ For Trip Time schedules, PLEASE refer to our “Peak Season Schedule”:


Peak Season Trips:

Tavern Run

Water Works ↕ to Rt. 934 bridge (Harper’s Tavern Area)

Meet-up TavernRunDirectionsToHarpersTavernArea

5 miles/2 hrs light paddle/$35 single kayak & $70 2-person kayak

Start your float in a community built to support the Union Canal. This stretch is narrower and shallower than lower parts of the Swatara Creek–surrounded by trees, you feel like you’re in a world of your own. A shorter trip, but you experience most of the extended trip’s highlights. Plan ahead for your finish at Harper’s Tavern, an 1804 stagecoach stop now serving kayakers!


Bald Eagle Run  (new name!)

Harper Tavern to Cocoa Kayaks Landing 

Meet-up Bald Eagle Run Directions to Cocoa Landing                              

8 miles/3 hrs light paddle/$48 single kayak & $96 2-person kayak

Our newest trip and the most Bald Eagle sightings on the creek is an easy stretch of tree-lined banks, a few islands, and the SWA Park. After the park you may notice Valley Glen,  where a 19th century amusement park once stood–believed to have inspired Milton Hershey‘s park.  There are at least two Bald Eagle nests on this stretch and lots of Great Blue Herons and other large birds.  After your excursion visit Babes Grill House in nearby Palmyra for some refreshing drinks and delicious food.


Boathouse Run

Cocoa Landing to Boathouse Park ↕

Meet-up Boathouse&GemRunDirectionstoBoathousePark

6 miles/2 hrs light paddle/$35 single kayak & $70 2-person kayak

A convenient segment of the Swatara Creek–only five minutes from Hershey Park and Troeg’s Brewery, but you’d never guess by the tranquil sounds and lush surroundings. Glide past deep fishing holes, stone beaches, wildflowers  and wooded cliffs. After a few miles, you’ll discover the depth and width of the creek growing as you approach Boathouse Park. A great combination of various water depths and scenery with minimal shuttle time.   


Hummel Run

Union Deposit ↕ to Main Street Bridge  

Meet-up HummelRunDirectionsToSchiavoniPark

5 miles/2 hrs light paddle/$35 single kayak & $70 2-person kayak

Early in the float pass Hersheypark Camping Resort on the left bank. Much of this section is wooded hillsides and winds around Hummelstown. Along the way two small parks offer water trail access points to stretch your legs along the way. A couple small riffles provide a mild challenge prior to passing a few small islands dotting the creek before ending at Schiavoni Park on the west side of Hummelstown. Try the Union Canal House in Union Deposit to replenish your soul with cold drinks and great food.


Cave Run

Schiavoni Park ↕ to Fulling Mill Road ↕ 

Meet-up CaveRunDirectionsToFullingMill

5 mi/2 hrs light paddle/$35 single kayak & $70 2-person kayak

One of the most diverse stretches of depth, islands and small riffles flows by the mouth of Indian Echo Caverns and smaller caves. Susquehannock Indians once lived and hunted in this area. From your kayak wave to passengers on the Middletown-Hummelstown scenic railroad, powered by a historic steam engine. Several ideal fishing spots can be found along the creek’s forested hillsides and limestone outcrops. Afterwards grab a drink and a bite on the Warwick Hotel’s deck in historic Hummelstown.

Other non-peak schedule or custom trips (please call 717 756-5766 to make arrangements)


Northern Run

Jonestown ↕ to Water Works ↕

Meet-up  NorthernRunDirectionsToWaterworks

5 miles/2 hrs light paddle/$35 single kayak & $70 2-person kayak

Early in the trip the creek widens as you paddle under the abandoned L&T railroad bridge—where the only lava deposits in Pennsylvania can be found on the old rail bed. Also on this run are a former aqueduct for the Union Canal and Mish’s Mill. Pass through areas with dense woodlands and varied terrain. Optional extension: combine Northern & Tavern Runs and finish at Harper’s Tavern.

Swatara Gem Run

Swatara Watershed Park ↕ to Boathouse Park ↕ 

Meet-up Boathouse&GemRunDirectionstoBoathousePark

8 miles/3 hrs light paddle/$48 single kayak & $96 2-person kayak

Start at the gem of the Swatara Watershed Association (SWA), the access point is on the downstream side of the park. Small island features offer kayakers optional routes. The creek depth in this segment is typically two feet, offering crystal clear views of the creek bed. Narrow and lined with trees you feel immersed in the watershed’s ecosystem. The 2nd half of your trip includes our Boathouse Run (see below). Let us help you plan an overnight trip with primitive camping creekside in the park or contact SWA directly

Cave Run Extended

Schiavoni Park ↕ to Union St ↕ 

Meet-up CaveRunExtDirectionsUnionSt

10 miles/4 hrs light paddle/$60 single kayak & $120 2-person kayak

Extend the final stretch of your Swatara Creek adventure past the Fulling Mill access, on one of our longer trips, to the confluence with the Susquehanna River. Creek depth varies on this portion, passing under numerous bridges before finishing at the PA Fish & Boat Commission’s Union Street boat ramp. If you choose, paddle into the Susquehanna River!

Tavern Run Extended

Water Works ↕ to Swatara Watershed Park

Meet-up  TavernRunExt.DirectionsToSwataraWatershedPark

10 miles/4 hrs light paddle/$60 single kayak & $120 2-person kayak

One of our longer trips offers intimate views of both creek banks, and includes “Blue Rock” a striking limestone outcrop. Mid-way on your trip take a break with a bite to eat and refreshing beverage at the historic Harper’s Tavern only 50 yards from the creek! There are a couple deep spots suitable for fishing, but overall the creek depth is low enough to provide clear views of the creek’s stone mosaic stream bed.


*With special arrangements kayak the Quittapahilla Creek or extend your Swatara Creek trip down the Susquehanna River.

Legend: ↕ Swatara Creek Water Trail Access Points




Cocoa Kayak’s equipment is in great condition, most less than one year old–staff inspects kayaks, life vests and paddles for safety, cleanliness and performance prior to your trip. Your specific reservation information helps us select the best paddle length, life vest, and kayak for your size and ability.

How It Works Our rental operation is mobile (no shop)–specific meet-up directions are listed on the left with the name of your trip. (normally no address exists)

  1. Meet-up Cocoa Kayak staff at the location your trip finishes, we shuttle you upstream
  2. Staff provide safety and navigation instruction before you’re on the creek
  3. When you finish (where you parked earlier), we’ll be there to help you off the creek    

  ..our system is very efficient, minimizing any wait. 

  • Guided and team building trips will be led by experienced guide(s) who are CPR and First-Aid trained. 
  • We offer six different sizes of kayaks, including tandem, to fit your needs. Our sit-inside kayaks were built for recreational users. Kayak bottoms are fairly wide and flat, offering much “balance forgiveness”. Paddles, life vests, kayak foot pads and cushioned seats are all adjustable. Most kayaks provide exterior storage to stow your personal items for easy access, however, they’re NOT waterproof.† (The Swatara Creek is primarily gentle and no spray skirt is required.) If needed, you may borrow dry boxes and bags from us for your trip.

Food Cocoa Kayaks can provide a $15 boxed lunch from the Brass Rail Deli if order is placed at when reservation is made. If you wish to lunch or dine after your trip we can recommend several great choices along or near the Swatara Creek.   

ALL CUSTOMERS MUST CARRYOUT ALL RECYCLABLES AND TRASH. If there is no trash receptacle at your takeout, we’ll gladly dispose/recycle for you…we must protect the Swatara Watershed, it is nature’s gift for us to preserve.

†For helpful tips on what to bring, please downloadCustomer Trip Prepfrom our home page.

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