Registration for the 22nd Annual Ohio River Paddlefest Now Open

Kayaks, canoes, standup paddle boards and paddlers of all ages and experiences are welcome.

Mar 16, 2023 at 10:17 am
click to enlarge Ohio River Paddlefest - Photo:
Ohio River Paddlefest

On Saturday, Aug. 5, thousands of paddlers will hit the Ohio River for the 22nd annual Paddlefest. If you want to be one of them, registration is now open.

Paddlefest is open to kayaks, canoes and standup paddleboards, as well as participants of all paddling experience levels. Motorized boat traffic will be prohibited on the river during this time, making for smooth paddling.

You can choose between the full nine-mile route from Schmidt Recreation Complex in the East End to Gilday Recreation Complex in Riverside or the Mini, which is 4.5 miles from Schmidt to the Public Landing in downtown Cincinnati. The Finish Line Festival will be held at the end of the nine-mile paddle at Gilday, featuring music from The Sunburners, food trucks and beer from MadTree

Participants can either bring their own boat or sign up to rent one during registration. Those hoping to rent a boat should sign up early as rentals tend to sell out quickly, say organizers.

Festivities will kick off Friday, Aug. 4 with the Outdoors for All Expo at the Schmidt Recreation Complex in the East End. About 50 exhibitors, including local parks, environmentally-minded organizations and adventure experts will be there. There will also be live music, hands-on demos, raffles, food and beer. The expo is free and open to the public.

Paddlefest is put on by local nonprofit Adventure Crew, which helps city teens connect with nature and others through outdoor adventures.

“Every dollar we raise through Paddlefest supports that mission,” Miriam Wise, director of support and engagement for Adventure Crew, said in a press release. “So by signing up to paddle on Saturday or buying raffle tickets and a beer on Friday, you’re helping us get city teens who might not otherwise have access to nature out on adventures like hiking, biking and of course, paddling. It’s a great way to share your love of the outdoors while having a great time in the process.”

Paddlefest is also hosting a new event this year: a kayak bass fishing tournament, which will span Friday and Saturday. Anglers can compete for prizes (and bragging rights) while fishing in the Great Miami River, Little Miami River or Licking River.

Early-bird Paddlefest registration runs through April 30 and is $50 for adults and $25 for youth (17 and under) for the nine-mile paddle and $45 for adults and $20 for youth for the Mini. Register here.

Schmidt Recreation Complex, 2944 Humbert Ave., East End. More info on Paddlefest:

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