Blazing Paddles

Blazing Paddles

More About Blazing Paddles

Blazing Paddles is a standup paddleboard race, canoe & kayak celebration held on the Cuyahoga River, a historic body of water that's risen like a phoenix from its ecological low-point in 1969. You'll navigate a curvy, 5.7-mile urban course that flows past a unique mix of riverfront sites where iconic pyramids of sand and stone stand in contrast to paved paths and green-spaces. The scenic course with sweeping views of downtown Cleveland will take you under 10 bridges spanning the river before you reach the turnaround point - THE location of the 1952 Cuyahoga River fire, the infamous image that's often used as a visual stand-in for the much smaller June 22, 1969 fire.

Blazing Paddles' turnaround point at the former Jefferson St. bridge serves as a physical metaphor for the turnaround of the Cuyahoga River and the turnaround our nation's relationship with its national resources. The ’69 fire ignited America’s environmental movement and when you participate in Blazing Paddles on the day of the 50th anniversary, you'll be reminding the nation of the great things that can happen when our natural resources are protected.

Blazing Paddles is not just a paddle event: it is a mecca for the paddleboard, canoe, and kayak community to make a national statement that healthy and vibrant rivers are an essential quality of life enhancer for America’s waterfront cities - and GOOD business for local economies. At one time in American history, hundreds of rivers were used as sewers for the byproducts of industrial processes. Yet the Cuyahoga River stands alone as the symbol for the ravages of a bygone era. More rigorous environmental regulations and engaged citizen stewardship have helped fuel the recovery of tributaries that now support not only a widening array of fish and wildlife species, but they also serve as a sustainable economic driver for their regions: tourism and recreation.

In addition to the 5.7-mile race, Blazing Paddles will offer a shorter 2-mile paddle for casual paddleboarders, kayakers and canoeists. Blazing Paddles is part of the Kentucky Waterman Series and the newly created Erie Series. We are working to secure river access that will allow fast kayaks and canoes the ability to see the location of the 1969 fire. Our model? The EPIC Ohio River Paddlefest. Register on website link above the map as our field will be capped.

Tags: celebration

Event Details

Date: June 22, 2019

Rivergate Park
1785 Merwin Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113
Cleveland OH 44113

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