The 15th annual Ohio River Paddlefest returns this year on August 6 when 2,000 kayaks and canoes are expected to hit the river. Here are five ways to connect to the mighty Ohio this week, with or without a boat.
1. Clean up
Since 1998, Living Lands & Waters has rallied volunteers to remove almost 9 million pounds of debris from our nation’s rivers. Their 2016 Ohio River Tour continues in Cincinnati this week with LL&W crews providing volunteers with everything they need to clean up the waterway including gloves, bags, life jackets, sunscreen and bug spray. They even provide lunch. For available time slots and details, visit livinglandsandwaters.org
This year Paddlefest is sponsored and managed by Outdoor Adventure Clubs of Greater Cincinnati, a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect urban youth with nature all year round. Paddlefest proceeds support OACGC programs in 20 area schools. A donation of $25 to OACGC allows one urban teen to participate in Paddlefest for the first time.
Paddlefest has a new 8.9-mile course this year starting at Schmidt Recreation Complex and ending at Gilday Riverside Park. Registration includes parking, insurance, t-shirt, and celebrations at mid and finish points, as well as an optional guided paddle tours of the mouths of Mill Creek and the Licking River.
4. Take a Stand
Grab your stand up paddleboard and join the 4.25mile SUP 4 the CUP race, sponsored by Project 908 and Stand Up Paddle Cincinnati.
Take a paddle break and enjoy live music and refreshments at the “Halfway Celebration” on the Covington shoreline. Then float down to Gilday Riverside Park for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission Finish Line Festival featuring music, food trucks, craft beer, vendors, and exhibits.