Let’s Paddle: History, Whiskey, And David Bowie Will Collide This July

Whiskey, David Bowie, kayaking – these are a few of our favorite things, and they’re coming together in an unexpected way later this month. On Sunday, July 30th, the Mon River Town Program will host the 2017 Rebel Rebel Float Trip with Venture Outdoors and with support by National Road Heritage Corridor, Wigle Whiskey, and the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds & Rivers.

The full name of this event? “Rebel Rebel Float Trip: the Whiskey Rebellion with a Bowie Twist.” During this guided float trip, storytellers will lead the way for a 4.5 mile guided kayaking trip on Monongahela River, sharing the story of the Whiskey Rebellion.

The Whiskey Rebellion…

In 1791 protests broke out against the young United States government’s first new tax of a domestic product. Though the tax applied to all distilled spirits, whiskey was the most popular beverage of choice – especially in western Pennsylvania, where whiskey distilleries were thriving. Protests against the new tax were often violent, eventually forcing president George Washington to respond to the crisis.

…with a Bowie Twist.

The Mon River Town Program is especially excited that this harrowing tale from western Pennsylvania’s past will be shared during our float trip in an entirely new way. As we travel along  one of the most beautiful places to kayak in the area, we’ll be calling on the voice and music of David Bowie to help us dive into this piece of Pennsylvania history. Why Bowie? Because we believe that a spirit of rebellion – revolution even – threaded the experiences of the rebels and David Bowie (albeit nearly 200 years removed). We’ll use music and interpreters in such a way that you won’t possibly forget what the Whiskey Rebellion meant to both the region and a young nation.

Sign up and join us for this unforgettable event!Beautiful Places To Kayak Pennsylvania

You won’t want to miss out on this wonderful paddle. This most rebellious experience will be held on the Mon River between Webster and Monongahela, about 50 minutes outside of Pittsburgh. The experience will be limited to 25 guests with ticket prices beginning at $75. A $75 ticket to the event includes:

  • A guided paddle and tour on the Mon River, a beautiful place to kayak
  • An exclusive, rustic riverfront period supper at the Monongahela Aquatorium
  • 2 cocktail samples courtesy of Wigle Whiskey
  • David Bowie tunes and covers, also at the Monongahela Aquatorium

And for $10 more you can rent a kayak through the Mon River Town Program and Venture Outdoors.

Attendees will receive more information about meeting at the local kayak boat launch for this event. This is a 21 and over event with a rain date scheduled for August 6.

Tickets are on sale now, so be sure to purchase yours before they’re all gone! And if you’re unable to make it to this particular event, we invite you to visit our website calendar anytime to explore other local events, and to save the date for your next adventure!


With A Special Thanks To Our Sponsors and Partners:

Rebel Rebel Mon Paddle Sponsor

Rebel Rebel Mon Paddle SponsorRebel Rebel Mon Paddle SponsorRebel Rebel Mon Paddle Sponsor


Shop Local, Travel Local: 4 Mon River Farmers Markets And Towns To Visit

Who doesn’t love a good farmers market? Fresh local produce and small business wares hold a special place in many of our hearts. And if there’s one thing Pennsylvania has plenty of, it’s farmers markets! Even better, these markets are hosted in scenic Pennsylvania river towns, many of which include beautiful places to kayak and hike.

Shopping and nature…that sounds like the perfect combination for a weekend trip! So before planning your next long drive into the great outdoors, hold off on typing “scenic hikes near me” into Google and consider visiting these lovely towns and farmers markets.

  • Elizabeth (15 Miles From Pittsburgh) – The Elizabeth Homemade-Homegrown Market kicked off its 2017 season earlier this month, and will operate every second Saturday from June to October. Organized by the owner of local business Yogastyle Studio, the event has caught on thanks to the number of local craft makers and farm vendors. The market works with local nonprofit development groups and is a great place to find fresh produce, homemade one-of-a-kind jewelry, soap, and crafts. Our Recommendation:  Elizabeth is a great daytime or weekend destination. Keep an eye on their farmers market on Facebook, and plan on taking some time to walk around this beautiful area. The market runs from 9am to 1pm, so you’ll have plenty of time to wander in Elizabeth’s busy and charming downtown. It features historic buildings and an authentic feel, not to mention a number of trails worth venturing onto. You’ll especially want to check out the Grand Theatre, built in 1902 as a Vaudeville House; today it’s one of the few remaining single screen movie theatres operating in the Mon Valley. 
  • Monongahela (17 Miles From Pittsburgh) – Named for the river it borders, this river town’s farmers market runs every Friday from June to October, in Chess Park, from 3-6pm. The beautiful market operates next to the park and runs into the heart of Monongahela Main Street District. Our Recommendation: Don’t settle for following this event on Facebook! Take a day off from work, make the quick drive south, and kick off your weekend with a dose of local beauty. Chess Park is absolutely worth taking a stroll through, before or after you shop. You’ll also want to explore Monongahela as a whole, which houses sites important to the Whiskey Rebellion as well as the local Underground Railroad. If you can, you’ll definitely want to check out an event at the Monongahela Aquatorium as well, as nothing compares to this unique riverside venue!
  • Fredericktown is one of many Mon River Towns with a farmers market.Fredericktown (43.5 Miles From Pittsburgh) – Every Saturday from 9am to noon, Fredericktown’s market bustles with the sounds of shoppers looking for produce and homemade goods to take home with them. The early morning operation means that it’s very easy to visit and start your day with a dose of local sights, smells, and more. Our Recommendation: While Elizabeth and Monongahela can be visited for a day, Fredericktown is definitely a weekend destination spot. The farmer’s market will be the perfect introduction to the area, and browsing through this lovely rural area will certainly provide a relaxing change of scenery. Fun fact: Fredericktown is located in the Maxwell Basin Recreation Area, the longest stretch of the Monongahela River uninterrupted by a lock or dam. So whether you choose to go paddling, for a walk, on a cycling trip along the river trails, or out for an afternoon of fishing, you’re guaranteed nothing but gorgeous nature views in this scenic area.
  • Morgantown (75 Miles From Pittsburgh) – If you’re itching to venture out of Pennsylvania, Morgantown is a mere 75 miles away in West Virginia. While the town is quieter than usual in the summer – when most West Virginia University students head home – it still has plenty to offer visitors, including a farmer’s market that operates every Saturday from 8:30am to noon at Morgantown Market Place. Our Recommendation: Take an entire weekend to explore Morgantown. The area was once prime settlement territory, meaning it’s packed full of history. You can catch a glimpse of the area’s glass and coal heritage at the Morgantown Museum and in display cases at the Seneca Center. The area is also full of theaters, museums, parks, and eateries – plus a handful of microbreweries. If you’re the outdoors type, you won’t want to miss the chance to paddle on the nearby Cheat River or Big Sandy Creek, as both are beautiful places to kayak. Save some energy to hike the trails of Coopers Rock State Forest!

As you can see, these four towns offer a great combination of shopping and outdoor exploration. You’ll absolutely want to keep them on your list of places to visit, especially as you search for beautiful places to kayak, for scenic hikes near you, or for your next great farmers market find. Want to find out exactly what’s happening in these towns, as well as their sister Mon River Towns?  Visit our website calendar anytime to find out what’s happening, and remember to save the date for your next adventure!

Investment Opportunities Throughout the Mon River Valley

There are dozens of investment opportunities throughout the Mon River Valley.  We are listing some here and are always willing to list any available commercial opportunities.  Contact Cathy McCollom, River Town Program director, at csm@mccollomds.com should you have a commercial or industrial property you would like to add to this listing.

Mon Valley Properties

Realtor Presentation

Scenic Areas & Music & Wine, Oh My! Your June 2017 To Do List

The coming of Memorial Day marks the coming of summer in Pennsylvania – a time of year where our flora burst into bloom, the sun returns in full force, and the waterways call to us. Believe it or not, Pennsylvania is home to a number of engaging activities. Whether you’re a nature lover looking for a peaceful afternoon out or a family searching for the perfect activity, chances are that there’s plenty of fun places near you hosting a great summer event – including one of the following:

  1. Rices Landing Riverfest is a Mon River Town annual event.
    Rices Landing Riverfest, 2016

    2017 Rices Landing Riverfest. Music, fireworks, scenic Pennsylvania. If one, two or all of those sound up your alley, you’ll want to save the date for this event. The 2017 Rices Landing Riverfest is a 2 day festival (running from June 9th – June 10th) featuring food, craft sales, games, love music, and firework displays. It’s the perfect destination for a family trip – and is only a 90 minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh!

  2. Multiple: Concerts at Monongahela Aquatorium. If you’re a concert-goer, you must look up the Monongahela Aquatorium this season. The Monongahela Aquatorium was the first of its kind in the country, making the venue a historic area. It’s a super-sized outdoor auditorium located on the Monongahela River right here in Southwestern PA. Its website is always listing new upcoming concerts – it’s current lineup includes a “Come Together” Beatles tribute. Then there are events such as its food-tastic Italian Festa, which also comes with a side of music – a musical tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. This is a riverside venue you won’t want to pass over this summer.
  3. Sip Of Summer Wine Tasting. Exploring different wineries is one of the most delectable parts of living in Pennsylvania – so of course there are summer activities that allow us to enjoy the final product! This summer will mark the 5th Annual ‘’Sip of Summer‘’ Outdoor Wine Tasting in Fredericktown, an hour and 15 minute drive from downtown Pittsburgh. With food, vendors and auctions, music, and – of course – wine tasting, this is one event you’ll want to sign up for soon.
  4. Charleroi Community Day.  The Charleroi Community Day and Fireworks is an annual event, scheduled for June 30th and July 1st in 2017. Strolling through downtown Charleroi (which is less than an hour out of downtown Pittsburgh) is the perfect way to get into the spirit for the 4th of July. Both days are set to be full of live music – including Billy Price, Donny Iris and Joy Christian – as well as firework displays, arts and crafts, antique show, kid’s activities, food vendors and more.

None of these events striking your fancy? Don’t go off to Google “fun places near me” just yet – there’s likely another great event in a river town near you! Visit our website calendar anytime to find out what’s happening!

The Mon River Trails Conservancy has Two Events Planned for June 3rd


Celebrate National Trails Day and join in this fun, mostly downhill race on Saturday, June 3 in Morgantown, WV.  Enjoy the scenic rail-trail, yummy refreshments, and live music at the finish line.  Finisher medals and free photo at the finish line!  
Register online at  http://www.tristateracer.com/event.php?RaceID=9231
More race information at http://www.montrails.org/deckers-creek-trail-half-marathon-trail-mix/


Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park

Morgantown, WV

Live Bluegrass Music

10-11AM  The Masons

11-noon  Vince Farsetta

12-1  award ceremony for the Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon

Food vendor- Pyles of Pasta