2013 River of the Year
In 2013, the Mon River Towns rallied to secure a special honor. The Monongahela River was up against the Schuylkill River for the designation of 2013 PA River of the Year. The River Towns “got out the vote” and generated enough general public votes to beat out the Schuylkill. The communities relished in the win knowing that an engaged citizenry was able to secure more votes than in the most populated parts of the state. (The Schuylkill went on to win the 2014 River of the Year designation.)
The year-long honor was celebrated throughout the River Towns in 2013, tying the designation to a number of existing riverfront festivals and also hosting three successful paddle trips. The year may have passed, but the Mon River will always be “2013 PA River of the Year.”
Don’t take our word for what’s special about “the Mon.” A consultant who helped in marketing the 2013 honor had this to say about getting to know the Mon Valley:
Some of the gems that I discovered during my field work moving south to north, following the flow of the river:
- The Mon River bike trail, including paved trail in Morgantown – two microbrews (Mountain State Brewing and Morgantown Brewing) are accessible from the trail!
- Apple Annie’s Restaurant & Bakery in Point Marion – they’re known for serving over two dozen home-baked desserts and a Saturday evening “dessert bar”
- Friendship Hill National Historic Site, home to early American Statesman Albert Gallatin – the grounds include 10-miles of hiking trails
- The Captain’s Watch B&B and hand hewn log cabin in Greensboro
- The National Historic District in Rices Landing, complete with an 1870 machine shop and foundry
- The Maxwell Basin Recreation Area in Fredericktown – it’s the longest stretch of the Mon uninterrupted by locks and dams. Beautiful kayaking!
- The Nemacolin Castle in Brownsville and a drive on the Historic National Road – Route 40 Diner and Fiddle’s Confectionary were worth the many calories.
- Amazing architecture at California University of PA and good paddling on that section of the Mon
- Not officially one of the Mon River Towns, but Donora’s Smog Museum tells an interesting part of this region’s industrial story and also that of the modern environmental movement (it’s said that the 1948 smog disaster led, in part, to the formation of the EPA).
(This outsider’s perspective on the Mon Valley courtesy of Amy Camp of Cycle Forward.)