Projects Expand Access to Cuyahoga, Encourage Boating
Downtown, River Bend parks increase waterway access with state grant
Two of Kent's parks will offer increased access to the Cuyahoga River before the year's end for canoe and kayak enthusiasts.
Projects under way at Kent's Heritage Park and a new park located in the River Bend subdivision are expected to be finished by mid December and will add new put-in and take-out areas for canoe and kayak use along the river. Both projects were paid for largely by a Ohio Department of Natural Resources Cooperative Boating Facility grant.
Downtown, two new access points were added to the river; one is just north of the Main Street Bridge and the second is a few hundred feet south of the Stone Arch Dam.
Kent Parks and Recreation Director John Idone said the take-out spot with canoe rail just north of the bridge will allow paddlers to take multiple runs at the stretch of the river between the new Fairchild Avenue Bridge and the Main Street Bridge by getting out there, walking north up the River Edge Park trail and putting back in near the new bridge.
"And it also provides a safety function in that, when the water is up, the river is a little treacherous through this area because it’s been bypassed around the old dam," he said, referring to the canalway remnants. "So this gives you an opportunity to get out there, go up the steps and go around, and then we’re putting in a second landing below the dam with access to put back in."
At River Bend, the finishing touches are being put on a 12-car parking lot with a path that leads to the river.
Idone said they're using eco-friendly, permeable pavers to build the parking lot, which was a point of contention earlier this year for some nearby residents.
"So any (rain water) that hits the pavers goes right into the ground and doesn’t run off into the river," he said.