Ohio River Paddle Fest info From Ray

This from Ray Radabaugh, who has attended the “Ohio River Paddle Fest” (this year is June 21st -23rd 2012)

Have gone down to the Paddlefest about the last five years.

Leave on the Friday about noon. When we get into Cinci will go right
to the Paddlefest site. Will check-in and get our wrist and boat tags at the check in tent. We then go over and put the boats into their holding area along side of the launch point. They are organized! Will have people on hand to help unloading the boats and carry them over to the side of the hill where they will be ready for the next morning. (the area has security guards over the night.) We will thien chain the trailer to a baseball diamond backstop next to the parking area. Next, we generally spend some time wandering around the flea market (used boats, vendors, Ohio state boating organizations, food vendors, etc.) . When we are ready to leave will go over to Kentucky and check into a Holiday Inn we have found on the other side of the river, several other motels also available. Next to dinner and finally back to motel for the night. The next morning will hit the breakfast buffet at the motel (free) and head back to Paddlefest.

When you arrive at Paddlefest,
park your car and head to your boat and get everything out and arranged for launch. Usually their is a long line of people carrying and/or dragging their boats to launch. They have volunteers set up to help you get into the boat and pushed out into the river. Since there are in excess of 1,000 boats we generally drift for a while in that area just to people (boat) watch. You have everything from decorated boats to one I really remember, a Kayak with the owners poodle proudly standing on the deck – he stayed there all the way down the river. The trip from the launch point down to take out is about 8 miles as I remember. Several places as you go down where you can pull over to shore and join parties, get water bottles or beer, and take a bathroom break. The river is closed to barge traffic and other boats. When you get to the take out point (serpintine wall by the Reds’ stadium) again they have people on hand to help you out and back onto dry ground. They evidently recruit the area HS football teams to carry your boats to another holding area. Believe me after a couple hours paddling I am not in real good shape to haul the kayak a couple hundred feet. Those kids do get a good workout and what really bothers me is it does not seem to tire them out after a couple of hours of carrying boats.

Again they have a bit of a festival
going on at the take out point. We will usually spend some time there (food stands, bands, boat rolling contests, swimming contests, and again various information tables and give-aways). When ready the vehicle driver will board a (free) bus back to the launch point to retrieve your vehile (and trailer) and return to pick up your boat(s). They issue wrist and boat tags and when leaving will cross check your wrist tag vs. the boat tag.

From there we usually head back North to Toledo stopping
aroung Dayton for a late lunch. Arrive back in Toledo around 6PM ready for a good noghts sleep. Would we go it again? We have for several years. Any Questions, contact me.

Ray

More information at http://www.ohioriverway.org/

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