• New Ohio Boating Maps

    Boating on the Royal Military Canal at Hythe.
    Image via Wikipedia

    COLUMBUS, OH – Recreational boaters looking for a marina facility or convenient boat launch ramp can request the newly updated Ohio Boating Areas map and guide from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Watercraft. The free publication is available online at www.ohiodnr.com and by calling toll-free 1-877-4BOATER.

    Recreational boating generates a statewide economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion annually, according to a 2007 Great Lakes Commission study. (http://glc.org/recboat/). Ohio’s recreational boating industry supports the fulltime equivalent of more than 26,000 jobs. Ohio also ranked ninth nationally in 2008 with a total of 411,366 registered watercraft.

    Local communities with marinas, boat launch ramps and other related facilities especially benefit economically by attracting boaters to spend money locally on lodging, meals, fuel, entertainment, shopping and more, according to the Division of Watercraft.

    The new Ohio Boating Areas map includes facility locations, amenities and phone numbers grouped by waterways based upon their horsepower rating and regional location such as Lake Erie and the Ohio River. Additional information on navigation rules, life jacket safety, boating safety tips and launch and loading tips for boaters is included as part of the map.

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  • Popular PaddleQuest Comes to Lake Milton

    Girls on the Kayak
    Image by lcthulou via Flickr

    COLUMBUS, OH – Paddle Quest 2009, a series of events that promote canoeing and kayaking in Ohio, is coming to Lake Milton State Park in Lake Milton, Ohio on Saturday, June 6, beginning at 10 a.m.

    Paddle Quest 2009 is sponsored by Gander Mountain Company, the nation’s largest retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, camping, boating, marine and outdoor lifestyle products and services, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Natural
    Resources (ODNR).

    “We hope to raise public awareness of the excellent opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors across the state,” said Joe Hardin, district manager of Gander Mountain’s Ohio stores. “Paddling is fun, great exercise, and something that can be done inexpensively and close to home.”

    The statewide series will travel to ten scenic state parks this spring and summer in partnership with Ohio State Parks and the ODNR Division of Watercraft. “We’re really excited to partner with Gander Mountain on these events,” said Arley
    Owens, special programs manager for Ohio State Parks. “Paddle Quest 2009 events are great opportunities for families to get acquainted with canoeing or just to get together with other outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy the diversity of Ohio State

    The series of events are open to all ages and no experience is required. Participants under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must wear approved life jackets during the events. Canoes, kayaks, paddles and life jackets are not provided. Rental boats and safety equipment may be available at some state parks. Please call the event location to find out if rentals are available.

    Paddle Quest participants will also enjoy a cookout-style lunch, door prizes and  a chance to win a matching pair of kayaks at the end of the event series, all courtesy of Gander Mountain. Registration is required for Gander Mountain prize eligibility.

    Following the Lake Milton event, the Paddle Quest series will be held at the following locations:

    June 13 – Pleasant Hill Lake (Mohican State Park),

    June 27 – Lake Loramie State Park,

    July 11 – Portage Lakes State Park,

    July 18 – Buck Creek State Park,

    August 15 – Geneva State Park,

    August 22 – Maumee Bay State Park,

    August 29 – Punderson State Park,

    September 26 – Salt Fork State Park.

    Children who participate in the Paddle Quest events can receive credit towards the ODNR Explore the Outdoors Paddle a Canoe activity. Explore the Outdoors is a hands-on family program that gives Ohio children the opportunity to reunite with nature,
    improve their physical and emotional health and discover the rewards of becoming  environmental stewards. Program information and downloadable activity guides can be found at www.exploretheoutdoorsohio.com.

    For more information about the Paddle Quest 2009 series and to pre-register for events, visit www.gandermountain.com

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  • National Recreation Trail System Adds Pittsburgh Area Trails

    Photo by Matthew A.
    Image via Wikipedia

    Susquehenna Water Trail Added also

    WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently designated 22
    trails in 13 states as newly recognized National Recreation Trails, adding
    more than 525 miles of trails to the National Trails System.

    “From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American
    families with the wonders of the outdoors,” said Salazar.  “These new
    National Recreation Trails, built through partnerships with local
    communities and stakeholders, will create new opportunities for fitness and
    stewardship, while creating a lasting legacy for our children and

    This announcement is timed to coincide with the 17th annual celebration of
    National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, 2009.   The theme for this year,
    “Take In the Outdoors,” encourages people of all ages to get outside and
    use trails for exercise and exploration.  Thousands of trail enthusiasts
    will participate in hikes, educational programs, bike rides, volunteer
    repair projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications across the
    country.  A complete schedule of activities is available at

    Area Trails on the 2009 List:

    Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway – 6 to 10 Trail  – This
    7.75-mile trail follow the remnants of the Allegheny Portage Railroad, an
    engineering landmark that lifted canal boats over the Allegheny Mountains
    in the mid-1800’s.

    Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway – Juniata River Water
    Trail – For 184 miles this water trail parallels the route of the
    Pennsylvania Main Line Canal which operated primarily in the 1830’s through

    Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway – Lower Trail – The 16.5
    mile multi-use Lower (rhymes with “flower”) Trail features many historic
    canal era remnants with interpretive signs telling the history of the
    Pennsylvania Main Line Canal.  It is the center link in the Pittsburgh to
    Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway.

    Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway – Path of the Flood Trail
    – This 6.5 mile trail follows the path of the Great Johnstown Flood of
    1889.  For part of its length, the trail joins the 2.5-mile Staple Bend
    Tunnel Trail which follows the remnants of the Allegheny Portage Railroad
    to the first railroad tunnel built in the U.S., the 901-foot long Staple
    Bend Tunnel.

    Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway – Roaring Run Trail –
    Following the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Main Line Canal along
    the Kiskiminetas River, this 4-mile trail is rich in historic
    transportation themes and recreational opportunities.

    Pittsburgh to Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway – West Penn Trail – The
    12-mile West Penn Trail offers many scenic, natural and historic assets,
    including 100-year old stone arch railroad bridges and parts of the
    Pennsylvania Main Line Canal.  Forty interpretive signs enrich this trail

    Susquehanna River Water Trail – North Branch Section – Paddlers along the
    181 miles of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River enjoy mountain
    views,  river towns, remnant structures, as well as birds and other
    wildlife, fish, and camping at 17 river campsites.

    National Recreation Trails (NRTs) have been a touchstone of the National
    Trails System since the first designations in 1971.  The NRTs recognize
    existing trails and trail systems that connect people to local resources
    and improve their quality of life.

    NRTs link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in
    local parks across the Nation.  These designations contribute to “A Decade
    for the National Trails, 2008-2018,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of
    the National Trails System in 2018.

    Each of the new trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter
    of congratulations from Secretary Salazar, and NRT trail markers.  These
    trails join a network of more than 1,050 previously designated trails that
    total more than 12,500 miles.

    The NRT program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and
    the USDA Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other Federal and
    nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National
    Recreation Trail website at www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails

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  • Tent Camping, Car Camping, and Now, Expanded Boat Camping

    The w:Muskingum River near its mouth, as viewe...
    Image via Wikipedia

    COLUMBUS, OH – This summer, Ohio State Park lakes are offering more opportunities for boaters to camp aboard their crafts or drop anchor and swim in designated areas.

    Boaters may now sleep aboard their watercrafts while secured to public docks on the lakes at Burr Oak, Dillon, Grand Lake St. Marys, Guilford Lake, Indian Lake, Paint Creek, Rocky Fork and Salt Fork state parks, along with Buck Creek State Park‘s C.J. Brown Reservoir. Boaters may drop anchor and spend the night on the water at designated boat camping areas at Buckeye Lake, Caesar Creek, Hueston Woods State Park‘s Acton Lake, and Portage Lakes State Park’s Turkeyfoot Lake, as well as Grand Lake St. Marys and Buck Creek State Park’s C.J. Brown Reservoir. Later this summer, docks for overnight use will be available at Middle Bass Island.

    Boat campers should check in with the marina or park office before docking. Transient docks for overnight stays are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Some locations charge a fee for overnight docking.

    New boat swimming areas have been added in coves or other quiet areas outside of boat traffic at several state park lakes, including Caesar Creek, Dillon, Lake Logan and Salt Fork. Boat swimmers are advised to wear lifejackets and be aware of submerged hazards in boat swimming areas. Head-first diving from boats is strongly discouraged and consumption of alcohol while boating is strictly prohibited.

    In addition to the parks that offer newly designated camping and swimming areas for recreational boaters, a number of state parks continue to allow these activities. Boat camping is also permitted where designated at Cleveland Lakefront, East Harbor, Geneva, South Bass Island, Mary Jane Thurston, Maumee Bay, Muskingum River Parkway and Shawnee state parks. Boat swimming and camping are permitted at Cowan Lake, Deer Creek, Delaware, East Fork, Lake Milton, Mosquito Lake and West Branch state parks. Established boat swimming areas are offered at A.W. Marion, Lake Loramie, Lake White, Paint Creek, Portage Lakes and Rocky Fork.

    Children who swim at Ohio State Parks with their families this summer can receive credit towards the ODNR Explore the Outdoors Swim with a Buddy activity. Explore the Outdoors is a hands-on family program that gives Ohio children the opportunity to reunite with nature, improve their physical and emotional health and discover the rewards of becoming environmental stewards. Program information and downloadable activity guides can be found at www.exploretheoutdoorsohio.com.

    For additional information about boating facilities and other recreational opportunities at Ohio State Parks, visit www.ohiostateparks.org.

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  • Kayaking Put-In-Bay

    Don’t know what show this is from, but this is a great short video on Put-In-Bay.

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