PORTSMOUTH-With a three, two, one, and a push off the bank, the first Ohio River Way Challenge team members started their journey to Louisville, Kentucky.
To kick off the newly formed Ohio River Way, residents, councilmembers, and adventurists met at the Portsmouth Riverfront Tuesday to officially launch the Ohio River Way. Travelers started their 250-mile journey down the Ohio River in Portsmouth and will end in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 9, 2022. Along their way, they will stop at several riverfront cities to launch the Ohio River Way in each area.
“This connects Portsmouth with cities along the Ohio River all the way down to Louisville,” Portsmouth Mayor Sean Dunne said. “It took a group of people like this to bring together different states and different cities to show that the Ohio River is something we really want to emphasize in our cities.”
To celebrate the launch of the Ohio River Way, Dunne announced that he would be joining adventurers along the route for five days in one of the two 30-foot-long Voyager canoes.
“To show our appreciation and to also have some fun for the next few days, I’ll be joining everybody, and I’ll be in the canoes for the next five days,” Dunne said.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, co-founders of Ohio River Way, Brewster Rhoads and David Wicks, shared what it meant to them to see their dream come to life and to set out on the first trip.
“David Wicks and I are the co-founders of this, we are both volunteers, both river rats and we just love this incredible river,” Rhoads said. “We are proud of what we have here and the assets that communities like you all have for people like us who love outdoor recreation.”
Rhoads shared that he, along with his team, is working hard to develop a nationally recognized destination for adventure tourism. Rhoads hopes that doing so will bring adventurers from all over the country to the area and make the 250-mile trip down the Ohio River.
“Where else in America can you paddle, fish, water ski, hike, bike, and camp while touring Underground Railroad and Native American sites, historic river towns, 19th century architecture, picturesque Main Streets, farmers markets and dozens of breweries, wineries and distilleries,” Rhoads said. “There is no other place in America where you can have those kinds of experiences combined with outdoor recreational opportunities. Our job is to promote the heck out of it as we launch the Ohio River Way.”
After the ceremony, Mayor Dunne was presented with the sign of the Ohio River Way that included the community’s name and the mile marker. After receiving the sign, Dunne, Rhoads, Wicks, and the many members preparing to make the 250-mile paddle cut the ribbon, officially launching the Ohio River Way.
Ribbon cutting ceremonies will be held in other cities, including Vanceburg (KY), Manchester Island (OH), Maysville (KY), Ripley (OH), Augusta (KY), Chilo (OH), New Richmond (OH), Cincinnati (OH), Covington (KY), Aurora (IN), Rising Sun (IN), Boone’s Landing (KY), Vevay (IN), Carrollton (KY), Madison (IN), Westport (KY) and Louisville (KY).
The Ohio River Way team will 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.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at [email protected]
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