Crooked River Adventures Gears Up for Third Season

Staff training for Kent State-sponsored canoe/kayak livery is extensive.

Crooked River Adventures staffers took to the Cuyahoga River on Saturday as part of the extensive training required for the livery’s upcoming season, which could start as soon as April 28-29.

Dave Herpy, outdoor adventure coordinator for the Department of Recreational Services at , said he is looking forward to a busy spring and summer for the livery that operates out of .

The university sponsored livery has a fleet of 10 kayaks, six canoes and 10 tubes that can be rented for trips ranging in length from 2 to 6.5 miles, with costs including return transportation to Tannery Park. Guided interpretive tours are available for an additional fee.

Herpy and livery manager Mike McFall oversee a staff of 14 employees, 10 of whom are new hires this season. Before starting their jobs, all Crooked River employees must be certified in First Aid, CPR and AED use.

They are also required to complete the eight-hour, non-credit Ohio Boating Education Course, for which Herpy is a certified instructor through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Watercraft.

Last Friday, the new hires went through two hours of orientation followed by two hours of class time for all employees to review the livery’s manual and operating instructions. That was followed on Saturday by a nine-hour training day for Crooked River employees.

The group spent several hours putting their knowledge into action by practicing all the steps required for loading up the livery’s business trailer, heading to Tannery Park and setting up as if the business was open to customers that day.

The second half of the day – a warm, sunny one – was spent on a 6.5-mile staff paddling trip from Tannery Park to Water Works Park in Cuyahoga Falls. Herpy said the trip, the longest offered by the livery, was both fun and educational.

“The staff paddling trip allows everyone to become familiar with the river and learn the take-out points and emergency access points along the route,” he said.

Depending on water levels and the weather, the livery could open for the season the last weekend of April. Herpy is hopeful that Mother Nature doesn’t pull a repeat of last spring.

“Last year was unique because we had record-breaking rainfall, which impacted our season in a negative way. It made the river too high to put kayaks in safely for novice paddlers,” he explained. “We didn’t open forthe season until the first weekend of June. After that we were booked solid every weekend through Labor Day.”

Contributing to a successful season were trips booked by groups, including the Hudson High School summer PE program, the Beachwood Teen Travel Camp (which visited twice) and the Kent Parks and Recreation Teen Camp.

“Right now, I’ve already got 30 programs on the schedule for this summer. It’s going to be another busy season, for sure,” Herpy said.

Click this link to visit Crooked River Adventures’ website for details on available trips, pricing and hours.

Have you taken a canoe, kayak or tube trip along the Cuyahoga River through Crooked River Adventures? Tell us about it in comments!

Pat April 11, 2012 at 11:58 PM
It truly is amazing that everyone thinks the river is safe to tube or anything else in.
Bob Hope April 16, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I've grown up in this area and have been around the river my whole life. The livery seems to have brought nothing but good things to the community. So why would you think it's unsafe?


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