On June 23-25th, 2023, Riverfest will bring together our three river towns to celebrate our region’s most significant historical moment: the 1863 Civil War Burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Covered Bridge. SNHA and our partners will be celebrating the Susquehanna River’s place in America’s history and showcasing our river’s phenomenal recreation opportunities. We anticipate welcoming hundreds of York and Lancaster residents for this unique event. Our goal is to grow this event annually until it is the quintessential Lower Susquehanna River event.


Bridge Burner Challenge

Run & Paddle Race along the Susquehanna!
Columbia, PA

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 Bride to Columbia River Park (1.25 miles). NO real fires/dynamite during race. This is a wheeled course. Run portion of the race is mixed sidewalk and paved trail. There is also a railroad crossing on the course.

Location & Race Timeline: Columbia Crossing 41 Walnut Street, Columbia, PA 17512. Center is located off the Columbia Exit for Route 30; at the intersection of Walnut Street and Front Street (Route 441). Bib pick up is between 10 AM and 5 PM on Friday, June 23rd or beginning at 8:00 AM, Saturday, June 24. Meet at Columbia River Park pavilion for a safety meeting by 8:30 AM. Race begins at 9 AM.

Kayak/Canoe Information: Registrants can provide their own kayak or rent one from a local outfitter like Chiques Rock Outfitters (chiquesrockoutfitters.net). Columbia River Park is a PA Fish & Boat Commission-regulated launch so kayaks must have an unpowered boat launch permit. Visit www.fishandboat.com to purchase the necessary permit. All participants are required to wear a life vest during the kayaking leg and must be equipped with a whistle. Participants must be 16 years and older.

Timing and Awards: Split timing for the running and kayaking legs will be provided by Pretzel City Sports. Results will be posted within 48 hours at www.PretzelCitySports.com. Custom medals and cash prizes from Discover Columbia!

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. All entrants’ fees are considered and appreciated as donations to Susquehanna NHA.

Run & Paddle – BYOBoat: $55 by May 1. After that: $65
Run/Paddle w/ Boat Rental: $80 by May 1. Until sold out: $90

Paddle Only: $35 by May 1. After that: $40
Paddle Only w/ Boat Rental: $60 by May 1. Until sold out: $65

Run Only: $35 by May 1. After that: $40

Includes finisher medal, 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@susqnha.org for details!