Cargill Canoe Adventure offering unique look at canal
|Shown are participants in last year’s Cargill Canoe Adventure.|
|Photo courtesy of Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition|
“The Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition has been holding the Canoe Adventure since 2005, and it has become an incredibly popular event among members and friends of the OECC,” said Sarah Gibbs, OECC education coordinator. “The goal of the program is to offer a unique view of the Ohio & Erie Canal, the Towpath Trail and the city of Akron.”
According to Gibbs, this year’s event will be “very similar” to last year’s Canoe Adventure.
“There are four groups of roughly 12 canoes that will be guided down the canal by Ohio & Erie Canal staff or volunteers,” she said. “The guides will stop periodically to talk about the areas along the canal — how those areas helped Akron become the city it is today.”
For those who have never taken part in a Canoe Adventure, Gibbs called it “an extremely fun event.”
“First-time participants can expect to see Akron from a very different perspective,” she said. “Canoeing down the canal is very different from walking or biking the Towpath Trail. Participants will have a chance to see the wildlife up close, as well as get a chance to explore the canal and enjoy a family-friendly canoe trip.”
Gibbs said there are plenty of scenic areas along the route.
“The entire route is extremely interesting, though some of the most scenic areas are just south of Summit Lake, where the canal runs next to a wetland,” she stated. “We will also be canoeing alongside the floating Towpath, and behind several very urban areas next to the Canalway.”
The canoe trip covers roughly 6 miles from Nesmith Lake to Downtown Akron, Gibbs said.
“It will take between two and three hours,” she noted. “Since the canal has no current, this trip can be considered strenuous exercise and will take longer than canoeing 6 miles on a river.”
The adventure will start at 8 a.m. at the Richard Howe House, 47 W. Exchange St., where participants will park.
“There will be trolleys waiting to shuttle them and their guide to Nesmith Lake, where they will get in canoes for their trip up the Canalway,” Gibbs said. “The canoers will pull out just behind Spaghetti Warehouse before reaching Lock 1. From there, they will walk a short way down the Towpath Trail to the Richard Howe House, where there will be a picnic lunch for the participants.”
The entry fee for the Cargill Canoe Adventure is $30 for OECC members, $40 for nonmembers and $15 for children younger then 12.
The fee includes: canoe, paddle, life jacket, lunch and goodie bag; a trolley ride from the Howe House to Nesmith Lake; the 6-mile canoe ride and the picnic lunch.
The event also includes an interpretive tour of the sites passed during the adventure, including the history of the Canalway, Towpath Trail updates and assorted fun facts.
“The Canoe Adventure is a great event, and the participants have a lot of fun every year,” Gibbs said. “Space is extremely limited and fills up very fast. So if people would like to come, they should be certain to register early. The trip caps at 100 people, so we usually fill up all the spots prior to the deadline.”
More information about the event and online registration can be found at www.ohioerie canal.org or by calling 330-374-5657. The Cargill Canoe Adventure is a rain-or-shine event.
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