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Recreational Services Opens New Canoe and Kayak Livery

Posted May, 12, 2010

The Department of Recreational Services at Kent State University is pleased to announce the creation of a new canoe and kayak livery at John Brown Tannery Park in downtown Kent, Ohio, located at 100 Stow Street. This satellite facility, named Crooked River Adventures, will provide Kent State students and members of the Kent community with a new form of recreation and leisure.

“This collaboration between the city of Kent and Kent State University is a prime example of how together, we can create a great opportunity that benefits everyone,” said Gretchen Julian, director of Recreational Services. “Local students, families and members of our community will really enjoy having such a unique operation right in their backyard.”

Scheduled to start operation on May 15, also the city of Kent’s “River Day 2010,” Crooked River Adventures has been in the making for nearly two years. Aligned with the city’s hope of creating a whitewater park, this livery is the first significant step in making progress toward its development. This satellite facility also aligns with Kent State President Lester A. Lefton’s recent strategic vision of enhancing economic development and the quality of life locally, regionally and statewide from Kent State research and creative endeavors.

“The opening of Crooked River Adventures is our contribution to making the city of Kent a recreation destination,” said Kim Rufra, associate director of Recreational Services at Kent State. “We’re taking President Lefton’s ‘Excellence Agenda’ to heart by offering citizens of the city something that can’t be found anywhere else in the region.”

Crooked River Adventures has scheduled its grand opening on July 3, 2010, in conjunction with the city of Kent’s Heritage Festival. A ribbon-cutting ceremony, complete with free refreshments, will begin at 11 a.m.

In addition to two paddling excursions, Crooked River Adventures also will offer bicycle rentals for use along local trails, including The Portage Hike and Bike Trail. Bike rental fees will be $5 per hour, with all bikes returned by 8 p.m.

The first paddling option will start at Tannery Park and finish at Brust Park in Munroe Falls. At a total of 3.5 miles and taking paddlers two hours and 30 minutes to complete, two excursions will be offered daily, departing at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Patrons can expect to pay $20 for a kayak rental or $18 per person per canoe rental.

The second paddling option will start at Tannery Park and finish at Waterworks Park in Cuyahoga Falls. At a total of 5 miles and taking paddlers four hours to complete, one trip will be offered daily at 12:30 p.m. Patrons can expect to pay $25 for a kayak rental or $23 per person per canoe rental. Both trips include return transportation to Tannery Park. Patrons must check-in 30 minutes prior to any departure for a safety briefing.

“We have created a win-win situation by offering affordable outdoor recreational opportunities at a convenient location,” said Dave Herpy, outdoor adventure and camp coordinator for Kent State’s Recreational Services. “The development of this livery operation services our greatest local natural resource – the Cuyahoga River. This is a dream come true!”

Crooked River Adventures also will offer a “Paddle and Pedal” package, combining both rental options into one great excursion. For an additional $5 per person, patrons can rent a bike for two hours of use before or after their river excursion. The facility also will offer group discounts by reservation only. Interested groups should call for details.

During the week (Monday through Thursday), trips and bike rentals will be offered on a reservation basis. Patrons can call 330-541-7467 or visit to place their requests. On the weekends (Friday through Sunday), Crooked River Adventures will be open to patrons on a drop-in basis from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The facility will emphasize several key educational components to its patrons, including safety and the “Leave No Trace” philosophy, which suggests ways that patrons can reduce their impact on the local environment.

“Crooked River Adventures has made it a part of our mission to instruct patrons on how to safely and properly navigate the river with minimal effect to the environment,” said Chris Hendricks, Kent State’s Adventure Center graduate assistant for Recreational Services. “All patrons will receive safety instruction by an ACA (American Canoe Association) certified boating instructor prior to their trip down river.”

The livery will be under the supervision of the Department of Recreational Services’ Adventure Center. Since its creation in 1999, Kent State’s Adventure Center has more than 10 years of experience offering boating programming and renting equipment via its Outdoor Rental Center. In fact, the Adventure Center has received statewide recognition for its award-winning boating program from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft. Herpy, a Level 3 ACA Certified Instructor, will be overseeing operations of the new facility.

The Department of Recreational Services at Kent State is proud to provide the students, faculty and staff of the university and members of the surrounding community with outstanding recreational, fitness and wellness opportunities. For more information about its facilities and program offerings, please call Recreational Services at 330-672-4REC or visit

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Media Contacts:
Dave Herpy,, 330-672-2803
Kim Rufra,, 330-672-0464
Jason Hawk,, 330-672-0465