Explore the beauty of Ohio's waterways.
COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is offering a series ofPaddle Ohio events to promote paddling on Ohio’s state-designated wild, scenic and recreational rivers, water trails and select Ohio State Park lakes. More than 250 people have participated in Paddle Ohio events since the program’s creation in 2014 by the ODNR Division of Watercraft. To date, a total of 38 paddlers have successfully met the criteria to receive a “four rivers paddled” or an “eight rivers paddled” Paddle Ohio pin through the program.
"Paddle sports in Ohio are one of the fastest-growing outdoor recreational activities in the state," said ODNR Director James Zehringer. "These Paddle Ohio events are aimed at encouraging Ohioans to get out and paddle on all of our scenic rivers, water trails and Ohio State Park lakes as they enjoy being outdoors on the water."
Paddling interest and involvement continues to grow in Ohio. Over the last decade, the number of Ohio-registered canoes and kayaks, including liveries, increased 138 percent to more than 152,000 in 2015. From 2014 to 2015, Ohio saw an increase of almost 20,000 paddlers.
In addition to Ohio’s wild, scenic and recreational rivers and water trails, 10 Ohio State Park lakes have been added to the Paddle Ohio program this year. These state park lakes include A.W. Marion and Mt. Gilead in central Ohio; Findley and Punderson in northeast Ohio; Barkcamp and Strouds Run in southeast Ohio; Cowan and Stonelick in southwest Ohio; and Harrison and Van Buren in northwest Ohio. Now paddlers will be able to enjoy the tranquility of these small lakes while earning their Paddle Ohio pins.
The Paddle Ohio initiative rewards individuals with a commemorative pin each time they paddle four different eligible waterways. Participants submit details on their paddling trips and ODNR will mail the pin to qualifying individuals. Pins are available for paddlers who paddle 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20 different segments of designated wild, scenic or recreational rivers, water trails or select state park lakes.
While people are encouraged to paddle at their convenience, a number of events are currently planned throughout the summer, including floats on the Kokosing, Little Miami, Maumee and Upper Cuyahoga scenic rivers as well as the Black River (Vermilion-Lorain Water Trail) and Muskingum River Water Trail.
For event dates including registration details and possible float cancellations due to high water, visitpaddle.ohiodnr.gov/events.
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