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Spots available for annual Cargill Canoe Adventure

7/4/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

Shown are participants during a past Cargill Canoe Adventure.
Photo courtesy of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition
GREATER AKRON — This year’s Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition’s (OECC) Cargill Canoe Adventure is scheduled to take place July 13.

George Ebey, project and strategic initiatives coordinator for the OECC, said the popular annual event typically ends up selling out.

“It is one trip, but we go in four separate groups. We take it up to about 100 people, so we go in groups of about 25 people in four groups. These are guided tours, and each group will have a guide leader,” he said. “We still have some open spaces for it, though.”

The goal of the program, Ebey said, is to “get people out to see the canal.”

“The tour is semi-interpretive, which means we like to talk about the canal history, and you’ll get to see different things along the way and learn about the heritage,” he said. “We just want to get people out enjoying it.”

Ebey said the program is basically the same each time, but there are numerous people who like to take part in the event every year.

“You might get a different guide each year, who might have a different spin on the information, but the route is always the same,” he stated. “There are definitely some people who enjoy it and come back for more. It’s something that people like to do more than once. It’s a really fun event.”

The Cargill Canoe Adventure will begin at approximately 8 a.m.

“We meet at The Richard Howe House here in Downtown Akron, and each group takes a trolley ride to Lake Nesmith, which is a few miles south of here off of Manchester Road,” Ebey said. “We get on at the lake there, and then we get onto the existing canal, which we ride back into Downtown Akron. That’s about 6 miles.”

According to Ebey, everyone will be riding in two-person canoes, except for the guides, who will be in kayaks.

The first trolley will leave at 8:15 a.m., with the other trolleys leaving in 10- to 15-minute intervals thereafter.

“Usually, by 8:30 or 9, we have everybody on the water. So it’s an early morning,” Ebey stated. “The idea is that we want to have everybody back to have lunch. We stop at Lock 1, which is basically just behind the Spaghetti Warehouse here in Downtown Akron. We get out of the canoes, and it’s just a very short walk back to The Richard Howe House, and that’s where lunch is. We have an assortment of sandwiches and fruit and chips and drinks — that sort of thing.”

The entry fee for the Cargill Canoe Adventure is $30 for OECC members, $40 for nonmembers and $15 for children younger than 12. Lunch is included in the cost.

The registration deadline for the event is July 9. More information about the event and online registration can be found at www.ohioeriecanal.org or by calling 330-374-5657.

Ebey said participants don’t need to bring any supplies with them to the Cargill Canoe Adventure, which is a rain-or-shine event.

“We provide everything you need — canoes, life vests, paddles, water, guides,” he said. “It helps if you’ve canoed before, so you have a little bit of knowledge on how to do it, but it’s not necessary. We’ve had first-time canoers do it. You just have to bring yourself and be ready to have a good time.”

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