Check Out Our Digital Guide to the Ohio Riverside
Learn about local and historical points of interest along our 9 mile paddling course.
Thanks to our friends at OKI for their collaboration on this project!
REGISTRATION and PACKET PICK UP
Paddlefest Trip on the Ohio (9 miles): Registration fee includes t-shirt (guaranteed to those who register in advance), parking, insurance, Half Way Celebration, optional guided paddling tour of Mill Creek, Finish Line Celebration and shuttle bus ride back to Schmidt Recreation Complex.
Rental kayaks, canoes, tandems, and stand up paddle boards are available for participants who don’t own a boat, thanks to our rental livery partners. Rental fees include boat/board, life vest, and paddles. Rental boats go quickly! Reserve yours early!
If you are renting a canoe or kayak, you must complete your registration and claim your boat at the registration booth at the Schmidt Recreation Complex NO LATER than 8:00 a.m. on Paddlefest morning, August 4.
Please arrive earlier to be sure you do not miss the deadline. Rental boats not claimed by the 8:00 a.m. deadline will be rented to waiting list paddlers.
Rental boat must arrive at the Finish Line Festival take-out no later than 12:00 p.m. (so they can be loaded and returned by truck to our canoe livery partners for reuse that afternoon).
BOAT DROP OFF/PICK UP
Boat Drop Off: You can drop off your canoe or kayak and complete your registration on Friday, August 3 from 4:00-9:00 p.m. and on Saturday, August 4 from 6:00-8:30 a.m. at the Schmidt Recreation Complex (2944 Humbert Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226) in Cincinnati’s East End. Parking at Schmidt is FREE, thanks to Subaru.
We encourage you to drop off your boat and complete your registration on Friday to avoid the rush Saturday morning. Please be sure to put your “Boat Check” tag (which you will receive at registration) on your boat and the matching one on your wrist (along with your registration wristband).
Outdoor Adventure Clubs volunteers will help you unload your boat and place it on the edge of the parking lot in a secure area close to the boat ramp. The boat storage area will be patrolled Friday evening and overnight by an off duty law enforcement officer.
Boat Pick Up: Outdoor Adventure Clubs volunteers will help you take your canoe or kayak out of the Ohio at the boat ramp at Gilday Riverside Park (3540 Southside Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45204) and place it in our “boat security” close to the parking lot for pick up.
Volunteers will be available to help load your boat onto your vehicle- and will check your “boat check” tags to be sure they match before you leave the parking lot. Deadline to pick up your boat from the take-out is 2:00 p.m.
PARKING AND SHUTTLES
Friday Night Parking
On-site parking for the Friday Paddler’s Party will be available with reserved spots for overnight campers. Parking spaces at Schmidt Recreation Complex are limited but additional parking can be found on adjacent streets and at Riverview East Academy. Friday’s party is just a quick walk from Riverview East down the bike trail. Volunteers will be on-site to direct and assist with parking.
Optional Early Morning Shuttle from Gilday Riverside Park to Schmidt Recreation Complex
We have a limited number of pre-positioned parking spots at the Paddlefest take-out at Gilday Riverside Park. These parking spots are offered on a first come, first served basis on Saturday morning and include a Paddlefest Shuttle Bus back to the put-in at the Schmidt Recreation Complex. Parking at Gilday Riverside Park is FREE. Shuttles run from 6:00-7:30 a.m. to Schmidt and take about 20 minutes, so plan accordingly. Shuttles will not be offered after 7:30 am.
You will need to drop off your boat and complete your registration at Schmidt on Friday, August 3. The Shuttle Bus will NOT be able to transport your canoe or kayak.
End of Event Shuttle Buses (Ride back to Schmidt Recreation Complex after paddle)
Shuttle buses will take you back to your vehicle at the Schmidt Recreation Complex starting at 9:30 a.m. The LAST bus will leave from Gilday Riverside Park at 2:00 p.m. Paddlers must show their Paddlefest registration wristband to ride the shuttle bus.
FRIDAY PADDLER’S PARTY
Paddlers, grab your friends and family and join us for a great night by the river on the evening before Paddlefest! Starting at 4:00 pm, paddlers can complete their registration and pick up their goodie bag and Paddlefest t-shirt at Schmidt Recreation Complex. If you have your own boat, drop it off in our secure boat staging area.
One overnight vehicle parking permit issued per site. NO WATER OR ELECTRICAL HOOKUPS FOR RVS.
Paddling and Adventure Gear Swap!
NO motorsports, ballsports, power boats, or RVs or related gear, please.
FINISH LINE FESTIVAL
After finishing our 9.0 mile float, enjoy our Finish Line Festival, complete with live music, food trucks, craft beer, refreshments, and vendors! Shuttle buses back to Schmidt Recreation Complex will be waiting to transport you back to your car and volunteer teams will be on site to help you portage your boat from the water to your car. The Festival runs until 2:00 pm with the last shuttle leaving at 2:00 pm.
Saturday, August 4 – Paddle the Ohio
6:00-7:30 a.m. – FREE Parking and optional early shuttle from take-out at Gilday Riverside Park (free parking) to Schmidt Recreation Complex put-in (NO shuttle service after 7:30 am from Gilday Riverside Park to Schmidt).
6:00-8:30 a.m. – On-site registration, packet pick-up, and boat drop off at Schmidt (free parking)
6:50 a.m. – SUP racer’s meeting (mandatory)
7:00-8:30 a.m. – Paddlers put-in and depart
7:15 a.m. – Start of SUP race
8:00 a.m. – Deadline to claim rental boats
8:30 a.m. – Put-in closes
8:00-10:00 a.m. – Half-Way Celebration at Convington Landing (music, refreshments, port-o-lets, water bottle refill & exhibits)
8:30-10:45 a.m. – Mill Creek Mile (30 min. round trip paddle, including the Barrier Dam and the MSD plant). Check out this preview of the trip!
9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. – Finish Line Festival at Gilday Riverside Park (music, food trucks, vendors/exhibitors, & craft beer)
9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. – Shuttle buses run back to Schmidt put-in
9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. – Boat pick-up at Gilday Riverside Park
11:00 a.m. – SUP Race Award Presentation at Gilday Riverside Park
12:00 p.m. – Deadline for all boats to take-out at Gilday Riverside Park
12:00 p.m. – Ohio River reopens to barge and power boat traffic
2:00 p.m. – Last shuttle bus leaves Gilday Riverside Park for Schmidt put-in
2:00 p.m. – Deadline to pick up boats at Gilday Riverside Park take-out
Restrooms and Water: Restrooms and port-o-lets will be available at the put-in at the Schmidt Recreation Complex and at the take-out at Gilday Riverside Park. Water and port-o-lets will be available at the Half Way Celebration on the Covington shore at the confluence of the Licking and the Ohio. The Half Way Celebration with live music, refreshments and exhibits will be open from 8:00-10:30 a.m.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses with a strap, water, cash for food and refreshments, shoes, waterproof camera, and an extra shirt. Please make sure you use sunscreen before you get into your boat. Water bottle refills will be available at the Half Way Celebration and at the Finish Line Festival at Gilday Riverside Park.
What not to Bring: No alcohol and drugs, weapons, valuables you cannot afford to lose in the Ohio River!