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ODNR to Host Annual Paddle Palooza Festivals

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will host four Paddle Palooza Festivals at Alum Creek State Park, Maumee Bay State Park, Caesar Creek State Park and West Branch State Park. These free events are a great opportunity for people to try a variety of canoes and kayaks and learn how to do stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Experts will also be available to share information about local paddling activities and resources.

Alum Creek State Park Lake
Sunday, June 19
12 p.m.–4 p.m.
Contact: Jeff Lange

Maumee Bay State Park
Inland Lake
Sunday, July 10
11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Contact: Sarah Genzman

Caesar Creek State Park Lake
Saturday, Aug. 13
1 p.m.–6 p.m.
Contact: Don Siler

West Branch State Park Lake
Saturday, Aug. 13
10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Contact: Stephanie Uber

Paddlesports in Ohio have increased in popularity over the past several years. In 2015, more than 161,000 Ohioans registered canoes, kayaks or other paddle-specific watercraft. Over the last decade (2006-2015), Ohio’s kayak and canoe registrations (including liveries) have increased 138 percent.

Those numbers are expected to grow as the state continues to invest in the paddling community. From 2006 to 2015, more than $7 million was provided through community grant programs and publications. This support provided carry-in and small boat access, as well as hands-on skill development through local education and recreation programs, including Paddle Palooza festivals and the Paddle Ohio program. It also funded publications detailing stream access and paddling opportunities.

The ODNR Division of Watercraft is responsible for boating safety, education and law enforcement on all waters of the state. This statewide area includes the near-shore area along 451 miles of the Ohio River, approximately one-third the entire surface area of Lake Erie, more than 605 inland lakes and more than 60,000 miles of inland streams, rivers and other waterways. The Buckeye State is one of only seven states in the nation where admission and parking at state parks are free. Many Ohio families and out-of-state residents turn to Ohio’s waterways for fishing, swimming, boating and paddlesports.