CLEVELAND, Ohio — It’s no secret Ohio has lots of of creeks, rivers, lakes and ponds to drift round, and increasingly more persons are having fun with them by kayaks than ever earlier than — and that was earlier than the socially distanced summer time of 2020.
Whereas there are numerous varieties of kayaking – leisure, touring, whitewater, and so forth. – statistics present hundreds are selecting up the interest every year. In keeping with a 2019 report on paddlesports and safety, carried out by the Out of doors Business Affiliation, about 22.9 million People – about 7.6% of the U.S. inhabitants – participated in at the least one paddling exercise in 2018. Leisure kayaking and stand-up paddling are frequently rising in reputation, the survey reveals.
There has additionally been a recent surge in purchases of watersports tools, like paddleboards and kayaks, as Northeast Ohioans put together for a extra socially distanced summer time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
cleveland.com searched on-line boards like TripAdvisor and Reddit, in addition to state sources from the Ohio Division of Pure Assets (ODNR), in 2017 to see the place kayakers and canoers wish to go. We have now up to date this assortment to incorporate info that you must know because the COVID-19 pandemic impacts summer time enjoyable this yr. We hope this record offers you a spot to paddle throughout the state!
Vermilion-Lorain Water Path – Lorain County
The Vermilion-Lorain Water Path is certainly one of 10 waterways designated by the Ohio Division of Pure Assets. The 27-mile water trail consists of parts of the Vermilion and Black rivers in Lorain County; the rivers’ connecting part is a stretch of Lake Erie.
The path is assessed as Class I+ to II, in accordance with a system referred to as the Worldwide Scale of River Problem. This scale helps paddlers work out how tough their journey can be. This water path is secure sufficient for newbies and novices, the ODNR says.
One standard location for kayak leases is LoCo ‘Yaks, although they’re closed to kayak leases, guided journeys and classes through the coronavirus pandemic, in accordance with their web site. Verify their website for extra info.
Lorain County retailer The Backpackers Store, in Sheffield Village, has offered extra kayaks previously two months than it has throughout complete summer time seasons in years previous, salesman and kayak professional Justin Wirtz just lately informed cleveland.com.
Cuyahoga River in Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park – Summit County
The 100-mile-long Cuyahoga River within the Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park was supplied up as a suggestion on Reddit, and that’s no shock. The Nationwide Park Service put in three paddler entry websites alongside the Cuyahoga River within the park over the previous 5 years – the Boston Shore Customer Heart, Pink Lock and Station Street Bridge Trailhead. The river is open to the general public, however paddlers are warned that the waterway isn’t for the inexperienced.
In Summit County, Cuyahoga Falls’ Burning River Adventures provides kayak leases, in addition to guided excursions alongside stretches of the river. The corporate has made coronavirus-related changes to its procedures for the 2020 season; take a look at their web site for full particulars.
Put-in-Bay – Ottawa County
Kayaking round Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, was one other suggestion from Reddit.
“Kayaking within the bay and round Gibraltar Island is superior,” Reddit consumer ibikeiruniswim wrote on a message board final yr. “There are some nice little caves and rocks to leap off on the north facet of [the island].”
TripAdvisor named Kayak the Bay, a kayak rental firm at Put-in-Bay, No. 1 out of 10 excursions in Put-in-Bay. Kayak the Bay was additionally named top-of-the-line kayak rental spots by Lake Erie Journal in 2013.
Kayak the Bay stays closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Verify their website for the newest updates.
Rocky River Reservation – Cuyahoga County
The Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Reservation, anchored by the Rocky River, weaves by the southwestern suburbs of Cleveland and ends close to the river’s mouth into Lake Erie. The Rocky River’s waters are a well-liked place for informal paddlers.
41° North Coastal Kayak Adventures is open regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, although there are some modifications to their kayak and stand-up paddleboard reservation course of. All reservations should be made on-line, and tandem kayak leases are restricted to members of the identical family.
Verify their website for the newest info.
These native to the realm close to the Rocky River Reservation may think about Nalu Standup Paddle & Surf in Rocky River to buy a paddleboard or kayak (coming this summer time).
Mahoning River Water Path – Trumbull County
This waterway is one other one of many ODNR’s designated water trails. The 23-mile path is designated as a Class I, that means it is simple sufficient for newbies to navigate.
The Mahoning River has paddling entry factors at a number of Trumbull County MetroParks websites, in addition to at metropolis parks in Newton Falls and Warren. Anybody with questions on an excellent place to hire a canoe or kayak ought to name the Trumbull County Tourism Bureau at 866-360-1552.
Hinckley Lake – Medina County
This 90-acre lake sits inside the Hinckley Reservation, part of the Cleveland Metroparks system. Individuals flock to the reservation to hike and see the annual Return of the Buzzards, however the lake is a hotspot for fishing and paddling.
The Hinckley Lake Boathouse is the hub for the park’s paddle sports activities and rents out not solely kayaks and canoes but additionally paddle boards, pontoons and different motorized boats. The boathouse has a public launch ramp so you may carry your individual boat too.
There have been some modifications to the rental course of for the Summer time 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic. Leases will resume Saturday, Could 30, and all reservations can be made on-line by a Cleveland Metroparks webpage; no walk-up leases can be permitted.
Extra info will be discovered here.
Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park – Lake County
Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park is a one-stop store for these desirous to paddle within the Lake Metroparks. As its title implies, the park sits on Lake Erie’s shore, making it an important place for newbie and skilled boaters.
Whereas the park often provides kayak leases, the coronavirus pandemic has squashed these plans for summer time 2020, in accordance with the park’s web site. Nevertheless, the location says the park is “engaged on learn how to make these companies accessible,” so verify here for the newest updates.
One other spot in Lake County that’s providing kayaks for rental or buy is Chagrin River Kayak & Paddleboard in Eastlake, proprietor Terri Parker just lately informed cleveland.com. Name 440-477-0864 for extra particulars.
Stark Parks – Stark County
The Stark Parks system advertises three preferrred kayaking spots in its system – Deer Creek Reservoir in Lexington Township, Sippo Lake in Canton and Walborn Reservoir in Alliance.
Sippo Lake and Walborn Reservoir have marinas the place paddlers can hire a kayak from Could by October, although because of the novel coronavirus, all Stark Parks marinas are at the moment closed. The parks system will re-evaluate whether or not to re-open rental companies on the finish of June. Discover extra info here.
Cuyahoga River, Lake Erie junction – Cuyahoga County
This space to paddle got here extremely beneficial on social channels like Reddit.
“In Cleveland’s Flats you may hire a kayak or jet-ski and undergo the Cuyahoga River or to Lake Erie,” commenter praterstern wrote. “I can envision a visit: keep at Aloft Resort in Flats East, take the water taxi throughout the river, choose up [a] kayak and tour for the day.”
One other commenter, c64fan, gave one other route suggestion: “Put in on the seashore in Wendy Park (simply east of Edgewater Park), paddle on the lake for a bit, then flip into the Cuyahoga River, by the Flats, and into the downtown space.”
Boaters trying to hire within the Flats can head over to the West Financial institution and cease into Nice Lakes Watersports. The rental facility has greater than 15 single kayaks and 12 double kayaks, its web site says. There is no such thing as a reservation course of; kayak leases are first come, first served.
For extra info, go to Nice Lakes Watersports’ website.
Higher Cuyahoga River – Portage County
All the Cuyahoga River is protected by the federal Environmental Safety Company (EPA) by its designation as an American Heritage River. Moreover, a very fairly 25-mile portion of the river – a part of the Higher Cuyahoga River – is a delegated State Scenic River.
Sitting inside this stretch of the river is Portage County’s Camp Hi Canoe & Kayak Livery. The family-owned enterprise provides boat leases in addition to guided journeys that modify in occasions and expertise ranges. The livery’s location can be a bonus – it is solely about 45 minutes from Cleveland, Akron or Youngstown, in accordance with its web site.
For extra info, click on here.
Hocking River – Hocking County
The Hocking River, which winds by Fairfield, Hocking and Athens counties, comes extremely beneficial. In actual fact, the state’s web site included it in a 2014 record of the top 5 places to kayak and canoe.
On the river, paddlers can catch a special glimpse of the identical surroundings hikers discover on the Hocking Hills State Park’s trails. A well-liked place to hire a kayak is the Hocking Hills Canoe Livery. The livery re-opened after Memorial Day 2020, with some restrictions and precautions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
For extra info on pricing and journeys, click on here.
Blackhand Gorge State Nature Protect – Licking County
The paddle path on the Licking River by the Blackhand Gorge State Nature Protect was beneficial by a TripAdvisor message board. The park’s “prime characteristic” is, in fact, the gorge, lower by water into sandstone.
On the ODNR webpage concerning the protect, a park moderator responded to a commenter’s kayaking query by saying that there isn’t a spot to hire kayaks on-site and there are not any close by liveries.
Nevertheless, “paddlers who personal their very own kayaks are welcome to drift the Licking River,” the moderator mentioned.
For extra info on the protect, click on here.
Olentangy River Water Path – Franklin County
This ODNR water path is a 9-mile stretch that runs by “the guts of Columbus, from the Broad Meadows pedestrian bridge downstream to the confluence with the Scioto River,” in accordance with a water path information.
The river waters have been designated as Class I-II, that means it’s secure for newbies and novices. A information to the Olentangy River path splits the route into three sections, letting paddlers know precisely what they’re going to come across on their routes.
The path’s Part A is a quiet portion of the waterway that flows by wooded parkland. Part B passes the Union Cemetery and the OSU Wetland, but it additionally has three lowheaded dams that paddlers must navigate by taking out their kayaks and placing them again within the river the place it’s secure. Part C is the city part of the path; kayakers can see elements of Ohio Stadium and downtown Columbus on this part.
For extra info on the path, click on here.
Paint Creek – Ross County
Paint Creek runs by three counties – Fayette, Ross and Highland – and into Chillicothe, Ross County’s seat. It was beneficial as a soothing place to kayak by Reddit commenter 2_4_16_256.
Waters Edge Canoe Livery in Chillicothe provides three organized journeys on Paint Creek day-after-day. The journeys vary from 2 hours to greater than eight hours. The journeys should be reserved beforehand.
For extra details about leases and journeys, click on here.
Mohican River Water Path
The fourth ODNR water path to make the record is the 28-mile stretch alongside the Mohican River in central Ohio. The waterway has been categorised as Class I, that means the waters are calm and simply navigable.
There are 4 essential water entry factors alongside the path and a lot of kayak liveries within the Loudonville space, close to the primary entry level at Mohican State Park.
“The Mohican-Loudonville space serves because the Canoe Capital of Ohio because of the greater than 50 years of canoe livery operation, variety of canoes registered within the space and focus of paddling actions,” a information to the water path says. A few these liveries are Mohican Adventures, Loudonville Canoe Livery and Mohican Wilderness, although all three hope to re-open by June 1 after closure because of the novel coronavirus.
For extra concerning the route, click on here.
Kokosing River Water Path – Coshocton, Knox counties
This largely wooded and rural waterway is the fifth ODNR path featured on this record, but it surely was the primary stretch of river to be designated as a state water path in June 2006, in accordance with Plain Supplier archives. The 28-mile path has additionally been named a State Scenic River.
The path begins in Mount Vernon and finishes the place the Kokosing and Mohican rivers meet to type the Walhonding River. One of many solely well-advertised liveries alongside the path is Kokosing Valley Camp & Canoe, situated about midway down the path.
For extra details about the path, click on here.
Large Darby Creek – Franklin County
This creek in central Ohio is “an ideal place to expertise Ohio’s unimaginable biodiversity,” in accordance with the state’s list of the very best locations to kayak. That is as a result of it winds by lots of of acres with a bunch of several types of wildlife.
A well-liked livery within the Large Darby Creek space is Trapper John’s. One Reddit consumer mentioned that “Trapper John’s… is incredible. Not loopy busy and plenty of enjoyable little semi-technicals. There are public set-in and exit factors if in case you have your individual kayaks.”
The livery provides a wide range of kayak and canoeing journeys each day. For rental and journey info, in addition to COVID-19 precautions, click on here.
Muskingum River Water Path
The sixth ODNR water path on the record can be the longest – it spans 112 miles from central to the southeastern fringe of the state. It’s navigable from Dresden to Marietta, although the portion of the path from Dresden to Ellis is “unmarked and tough to comply with,” a information to the path says.
There are eight carry-in kayak entry factors alongside the lengthy river stretch. Nevertheless, there are not any well-advertised liveries alongside the route apart from in Marietta, on the Marietta Adventure Company. Nevertheless, the corporate just isn’t at the moment providing kayak leases because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Verify their web site for the newest updates.
Lake Vesuvius – Lawrence County
This physique of water, a part of the Wayne Nationwide Forest, was beneficial on Reddit.
“It’s a enjoyable lengthy lake that connects to the Ohio River if the water’s up sufficient,” commenter TypicalTyrian mentioned. “There’s tons of cool shallow water areas with deeper sections adored with lily pads.”
Kayakers can both carry their very own boats or go to Kountry Kayaks to hire one. They will use the lake’s boat launch to set in, in accordance with the Wayne Nationwide Forest’s webpage on the lake.
For extra info, click on here.
Little Miami River – Greene County
The Little Miami River, which winds by 4 completely different counties, was been designated as a state scenic river within the 1960s. Paddlers concerned with navigating the waterway have many choices, together with Narrows Reserve in Greene County.
Narrows Reserve is known as for a “distinguishing characteristic of the river” the place “steep, slender banks of the Little Miami had been created when a brand new stream flowed out of an historic stream mattress and carved its manner by the Earth’s floor,” in accordance with a park guide.
Individuals concerned with kayaking on the Little Miami can begin at Narrows Reserve by a guided tour led by Bellbrook Canoe Leases in Bellbrook. The journey is about 5 miles.
For extra journey and pricing info, plus new precautions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, click on here.
Ft. Historical Gorge – Warren County
Fort Historical Gorge, additionally situated within the Little Miami River, was as soon as residence to the Hopewell Native American tribe often known as the “Mound Builders.” Among the best-known liveries within the gorge is Morgan’s Out of doors Adventures.
On the Morgan’s web site, the family-owned rental facility writes that the founder, Bob Morgan, “selected this secluded part of river for its pure magnificence and guarded isolation (there are not any cities inside six miles), in addition to being the very best canoeing part on the Little Miami.”
Morgan’s within the Fort Historical Gorge comes highly rated on TripAdvisor. Commenters say that it is an important place for a household weekend journey, as Morgan’s additionally has campgrounds the place paddlers can pitch a tent.
For extra info, together with new coronavirus precautions, click on here.
Nice Miami River Path
The Nice Miami River and two of its tributaries, Mad River and Stillwater River, have all been designated as ODNR water trails. The Nice Miami is the longest of the three, beginning up in Logan County and flowing down by the southwestern a part of the state into the Ohio River close to Cincinnati.
The ODNR water path ends the place the three rivers come to a confluence in Dayton. Alongside the best way, there are numerous spots to hire a kayak and paddle on the river. In Troy, paddlers can get a kayak at Treasure Island by Adventures on the Great Miami livery.
Novices beware, although: there are a few whitewater options alongside the water path.
A full record of latest COVID-19 precautions for Adventures on the Nice Miami livery will be discovered on the corporate’s Facebook page.
For extra info on the path, click on here.
Mad River Water Path
This tributary of the Nice Miami additionally begins in Logan County, but it surely makes up the appropriate “prong” of the trio of rivers that meet in Dayton. Many of the locations to paddle (with a rented kayak) on the Mad River are in Champaign and Clark counties.
The Birchbark Canoe Livery in Champaign County boasts clear, calm waters with occasional “quick, shallow rapids alongside the best way [for] a pleasurable change of tempo,” its web site says. Journeys for various ability ranges and curiosity are additionally organized by the livery. Birchbark up to date its web site initially of Could 2020, stating that their opening date was up within the air because of the coronavirus pandemic.
For extra info, click on here.
Stillwater River Path
The ultimate ODNR designated water path on the record is the left “prong” of the trio of rivers in southwestern Ohio. The river begins in Darke County and, once more, ends in Dayton in Montgomery County.
There are few liveries alongside the Stillwater River Water Path; in reality, the path’s information on-line solely lists one place to hire a kayak alongside the complete river. The West Milton Municipal Park within the metropolis of West Milton provides leases for paddlers.
Nevertheless, boaters with their very own watercrafts are welcome to navigate the river on their very own by watching out for entry level indicators alongside the path.
For extra info on the path, click on here.
Symmes Creek – Gallia, Lawrence counties
Symmes Creek was one other Lawrence County suggestion on a Reddit thread.
“There’s a ship launch close to Symmes Valley Excessive Faculty you can take all the best way to the Ohio River,” the commenter wrote. “It’s a couple of 17-mile journey from there but it surely’s value it. Tons of gorgeous nation surroundings, [and] you may take the creek out farther than that.”
This quiet waterway doesn’t have any public kayak or canoe rental amenities, in accordance with the ODNR. Nevertheless, there are 5 locations alongside the creek the place kayakers can park and put in.
For extra info, click on here.