Paddlefest 2018 Registration is Open!
Join us for the nation’s largest paddling celebration on
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Skip on the ties and pajamas this holiday season and give someone you love an experience they’ll always remember – paddling the Ohio River! Paddlefest 2018* is scheduled for Saturday, August 4 and features a 9 mile float down the Ohio River through downtown Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.
*This gift certificate is for a Paddlefest 2018 registration only. Boat rental, if needed, can be purchased when the Paddlefest 2018 registration gift is redeemed online, while boat supplies last.
Prefer to Register via Mail?
Download, complete, and mail-in your Paddlefest registration, postmarked by July 31.
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!
Paddlefest 2018 Information
REGISTRATION and PACKET PICK UP
Registration for Paddlefest 2018 will open in January, with online and mail-in options. For the best deal on our registration rates and selection of rental boats, REGISTER EARLY!
Registration fee includes t-shirt (guaranteed to those who register by July 31), parking, insurance, optional guided paddling tour of Mill Creek, Finish Line Celebration and shuttle bus ride back to Schmidt Recreation Complex.
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 4:00-8:00 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
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. Paddlefest is not responsible for any damage to boats left overnight on site.
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 also 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 2:30 p.m.
PARKING AND SHUTTLES
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.
FRIDAY PADDLER’S PARTY and CAMPING
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 at Schmidt Recreation Complex, paddlers can complete their registration and pick up their goodie bag with Paddlefest t-shirt. If you have your own boat, drop it off in our secure boat staging area.
Each camping reservation permits one vehicle to park overnight at Schmidt Recreation Complex. Reserve accordingly. NO WATER OR ELECTRICAL HOOKUPS FOR RVS.
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, when the last shuttle departs.
Friday, August 3 – Paddler’s Party and Boat Drop Off at Schmidt Recreation Complex
4:00-8:00 pm – On-site registration, packet pickup, camping check-in & boat drop off
4:00-9:00 pm – Paddler’s Party for a Cause: including live music, food trucks & craft beer. Plus exhibitors, gear swap, and raffle.
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)
6:45 a.m. – Racers enter water
7:00-8:30 a.m. – Paddlers put-in and depart
8:00 a.m. – Deadline to claim rental boats
8:30 a.m. – Put-in closes
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. – Presentation of race awards 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!