Bridge Burner Challenge

Run & Paddle Race along the Susquehanna!
Sunday, June 28th – 9 AM – Columbia, PA

Riverfest commemorates the burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge during the Civil War. On the last Sunday in June 1863, locals prevented Confederate troops from crossing the river and moving toward Harrisburg or Philadelphia. Confederate troops were forced to turn back and just three days later the Battle of Gettysburg erupted. Race proceeds benefit Susquehanna National Heritage Area (SNHA) educational programs, recreational offerings, and heritage sites in riverlands corridor.

Run & Paddle Course: Race to burn the bridge before the Confederates cross! Run from Columbia River Park at the bridge entrance up the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail to the Iron Furnaces (1.75 Miles). Collect all your ‘dynamite’ (race baton) you’ll need and race back to the River Park (1.75 Miles). Board your kayak and paddle across the Susquehanna north of the Covered Bridge Piers (1.25 Miles). Once across drop off the ‘dynamite’ (race baton) and paddle back on the south side of the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge to Columbia River Park (1.25 miles). NO real fires/dynamite during race.

Run Course: Follows the Run & Paddle Course above. Finish line is located at Columbia River Park. Run awards will be at 10:00 AM.

Cancellation Policy: This event is held rain or shine. In the event of severe weather or dangerous river conditions, we may delay the start until conditions improve or we reserve the right to transition the race to a run only event.

Run & Paddle Entry Fee: Early: $45. Late/After June 7th: $55.  Kayak Rental: $25, while supplies last, must reserve online.

Run Only Fee: Early $25. Late/After June 7th: $30.

Includes one t-shirt and swag bag! Late registrants may not receive desired size.

Online Registration 

Paper/Mail-in Registration




Interested in Sponsoring Riverfest & Bridge Burner Challenge? Contact hbyers@susquehannaheritage.org for details!