Ohio River Way launches with 250-mile canoe trip

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A team of 20 canoers will paddle 250 miles on the Ohio River from Portsmouth, Ohio to Louisville from May 31 through June 9 to officially launch the Ohio River Way. 

The organization connects people and communities to opportunities for activities on and along the Ohio River from Portsmouth to West Point, Kentucky.

As they paddle from town to town in two 30-foot-long voyager canoes, Ohio River Way leaders will hold ribbon-cutting ceremonies with local officials and community leaders.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies will be held at stops across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, including in Covington and Cincinnati.

Brewster Rhoads, chair of the Ohio River Way Board, said they look forward to celebrating the Ohio River with the dozens of communities along the Ohio Riverway.

A map of the route. Photo courtesy of Ohio River Way

The Ohio River Way team will also present each town with customized metal wayfinding signs for placement at every boat ramp from Portsmouth to Louisville. Paddlers will camp each night in areas designated by the hosting river communities.  

“Our trip is all about promoting safe outdoor adventure and recreation along the Ohio,” said David Wicks, vice-chair of the Ohio River Way and board chair of River City Paddle Sports in Louisville. Wicks is also the event organizer.

Wicks also said the trip will highlight the historical, cultural and ecological assets in the communities along the banks of the Ohio River.

Communities will be invited to join the Ohio River Way as dues-paying members to promote recreation, attract tourism and stimulate economic development. 

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