Shank's Mare offers adventure by land or sea

If you don’t frequent the Susquehanna’s shores, Shank’s Mare is the summer adventure you’ve been missing out on.

IMG_2142Just across the river for Lancastrians, this recreation outfitter offers boat and board rentals, guided tours and live music beginning in May. The adjacent Lock 2 Café offers light fare and ice cream for those who prefer land over sea – and you can’t beat the sweeping views of the Susquehanna just outside the venue’s door.

Owners Liz and Steve Winand opened Shank’s Mare – an old Scottish phrase meaning “to travel by foot” – in 1978. They’re joined by son Devin Winand, a touring and fishing kayak expert, and staffer Josh Hill, the shop’s stand-up paddleboard expert. (And don’t forget the shop dog, Mazie.)

From kayak tours to paddleboard yoga (hello, balance!) the venue offers something for everybody.

“We are a non-intimidating shop. Our goal is to get folks interested in our activities, and teach them skills for safety and fun no matter what level of ability they are seeking,” says Liz. “For those who have no experience, we have an extensive lesson program in kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.”

More seasoned paddlers will enjoy Shank’s all-day kayak tours to specific points along the Susquehanna.

“Each one is themed, so we can give folks knowledge about the history and ecology of our Susquehanna destinations.  We also do extended paddling trips – in the fall to the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake, and in the winter to Pine Island, Fla.,”says Liz.

The perfect start to summer? The Friday Night Unwind series. For $38 per person, Shank’s Mare guides you on a leisurely evening trip along the shoreline – perfect for those who have never kayaked before, or anyone who wants to enjoy a relaxing paddle. A dinner at the Lock 2 Café follows, accompanied by live music on the porch at Shank’s Mare.

“We added the paddle tour idea to the night’s events, because what’s better than floating on the river and hearing some awesome live music at the same time?” Liz adds.

Tours take place at 6 p.m. and are held June 10 and 24, July 8 or 22, August 12 or 26, and September 9.

Can’t make it Fridays? Don’t worry, there are plenty more events in store.

Shanks has added a slew of Yoga and Stand-Up Paddleboard sessions to get your zen on while floating. The two-hour class begins with an on-land yoga session, followed by a trip into the river for some basics on your board. Cost per class is $49.

Summer classes take place 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Event dates are June 10, 12 and 19, July 17, 22 and 24, and August 7, 19 and 21.

Below is just a sampling of Shank’s summer Paddle and Dining Programs. If you want to go your own way, you can make reservations to rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and do self-guided trips. Rental kayaks are available for all programs, while kayak owners are welcome to bring their own. See for complete schedules, prices and details. Paddle and Dining Programs meet at Shank’s main Long Level location, unless otherwise stated. 

Friday Evening Rendezvous: Enjoy a guided paddle followed by a candlelit dinner in Shank’s banquet room, The Rookery.

Beautiful night for a SUP class on the river. #shanksmareoutfitters #sup

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River Paddle Tour & Picnic: Get going with a longer guided paddle on the river, followed by a picnic supper on Shank’s porch and grounds.

The Rise & Shine Paddle & Brunch: Round out the weekend with a guided Sunday morning paddle followed by brunch served out of Lock 2 Café.

Kayak Fishing & Brunch: Calling all kayak anglers! Hit the river early to do some fishing, then meet back at Shank’s Mare for an outdoor brunch.

Paddle & Pizza: (OK, you had us at “pizza.”) Meet at Shank’s John Wright Restaurant rental operation and enjoy a guided kayak tour at the Wright’s Ferry Bridge. Enjoy pizza for 20 percent off the John Wright Restaurant. 

Pick-Up & Paddle Wednesdays & Taco Night: Celebrate hump day with an informal paddle followed by tasty tacos at Lock 2 Café.

Fall Fest Paddle Taste & Dine: Stay tuned for the first one of these tastings in August! Shank’s partners up with area craft breweries (Black Cap, Liquid Hero and Collusion) and Meduseld Meadery for tastings and dinner, preceded by a guided paddle tour. Shank’s

Mare Outfitters and Lock 2 Café are located at 2092 Long Level Rd., Wrightsville. Hours are Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. Shank’s houses a second rental location at John Wright Restaurant, 234 N. Front St., Wrightsville PA 17368, open June through August. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Our beautiful front yard. #shanksmare #shanksmareoutfitters #susquehanna #goplayoutside

A photo posted by @shanksmareoutfitters on

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Posted in Articles, Arts+Culture, Drink, Drink – York, Eat, Eat – York, Music – York, Out & About, Out & About – York, York, York Headlines

Kim O'Brien is a freelance writer for Fly Magazine. In past lives she was a sports reporter, camp director and restaurant equipment writer, all of which somehow led to her current gig as a marketing copywriter. Secret talents include classical piano and fashioning MacGyver-esque car repairs for her trusty ol' Jeep.

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