The removal of dams along the Cuyahoga River has had benefits apart from improving water quality. Now, water recreation is providing new business opportunities from Kent to Cuyahoga Falls.
Over Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of brightly colored inflatable tubes joined kayakers and canoers on the river. The tubers were customers of Float the River, the area’s newest form of water recreation, launched by local entrepreneurs T.J. Mack and Savannah Snyder.
More than 600 people from Northeast Ohio and neighboring states rode the Cuyahoga in tubes over two days, the couple reported.
The river enthusiasts float in single-person tubes along with the current for about two hours, from Munroe Falls to Cuyahoga Falls.
“A lot of young people are more outdoorsy than previous generations and maybe more environmentally conscious,” Mack said. “I think that us getting people out here using the river is going to create more environmental stewards, get more stewards for the river and get more people using it and more people loving it. I think that’ll help a lot because there’s still a lot of work to do down river.”
Akron resident Lexie Killinger floated the river with several friends.
“It was so much fun,” she said. “They tied all of us together and then we floated down and sometimes you have to pull your butt up a little bit and paddle a little bit to get out of the sticks, but it was really fun. We’ll definitely come back.”
The trip is 1.5 miles, which takes about two hours. Shuttles run from the launch point at Munroe Falls to the pick-up site in Cuyahoga Falls. To help boost the local economy, boaters can show their wristbands at partnering businesses near the river to receive discounts.
Float the River runs 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekends through Labor Day. Reserve times online. Walkups are also welcome.