Paddle Fest

“What do I love about Paddle Fest? It’s my favorite of the many ways we get to share our love for the Shenango River. “

Brandi Baros – SRW President

“Folks who are kayaking the Shenango for the first time at Paddle Fest tell us how amazing it was, with all the birds and wildlife to watch. Novice and intermediate kayakers tell us what a challenge it was to navigate the twists and turns, the shallows, and the places where we could only cut a narrow passage around a downed tree, and how much they improved their skills.

Experienced kayakers who’ve been with us since we opened the water trail tell us what’s changed, and what they noticed today that they never noticed before. So many folks say they can’t wait to get back on the River again. Floating down the Shenango is never the same journey twice, as the River is constantly shifting. Mud and gravel banks form and erode, trees fall and are swept to the banks when the water gets high again. There’s always something new and fresh.

For me personally as a kayaker, I love how being on the River forces me to be present in the moment. You can’t be worrying about anything else as you’re figuring out the best line to take through the rapids, or how to navigate a tight turn with a downed tree on the outside and a gravel beach on the inside.

You have to focus, think fast, and respond to where the River takes you, and it’s as much mental as it is physical. Then you get those nice slow smooth stretches where you can set your paddle down and breathe in the wonders around you. It’s a high-intensity interval training for the soul.”

Brandi Baros – President