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Point Marion: One Of The Best Places To Kayak In Western PA

August 8, 2017

Best Places To Kayak Point Marion It’s a 90 minute drive outside of Pittsburgh, nestled between the Monongahela River and Cheat River. “It” being Point Marion – a town once known for its role in the Pennsylvania glass industry. Today Point Marion is filled with historic sites and architecture, not to mention trails and fishing opportunities. And in a new development that will really resonate with nature lovers, Point Marion has something else to offer this beautiful summer – kayak rentals that allow people to explore this beautiful public space via the water.

Local resident and now entrepreneur Vicky Evans has been the driving force behind this new paddling launch point. Throughout 2017, Vicky has worked under the umbrella name of Mon River Rec while tapping into the Mon River Town organization as a local resource. Vicky has a degree in recreation and parks management and a long history of working in the outdoors as a conservationist and an outdoor recreation planner, mostly with the United States Department of Agriculture. It’s safe to say she’s “always been interested in the outdoors and in helping people get out there and enjoy them as well.”

As a resident, Vicky quickly realized through her own experiences that the town’s location makes it one of the best places to kayak in western Pennsylvania. Point Marion sits near a fork in the Monongahela River, providing kayakers with more places to paddle as they journey up and down the water. That’s because in addition to splitting off into the Cheat River, the Mon meets up with Dunkard Creek near Point Marion. And both the creeks and the quiet Cheat River are traffic free – no boats, no barges, no locks…nothing but water!

Ironically, the woman behind the kayak boat launch project is relatively new to the kayaking scene. She admits to being “mostly a dry land kind of person” in the past, as her experience prior to running Mon River Rec involved more biking and hiking.

“It’s added a new dimension to my life,” Vicky says about the project. “Now instead of waking up in the morning and going for a bike ride or walking the dog, I’m calling up friends to go on the river.”

Mon River Paddling Point MarionPaddling up and down the Mon has never been easier in Point Marion, thanks to the kayak rental that opened in June 2017. A reservation made through Vicky ensures that visitors can use one of her six flatwater recreational kayaks during their exploration. (No tandem kayaks are available, so paddlers must be comfortable using a single kayak.)

Here’s how it works once a date and time is set: paddlers meet Vicky in Point Marion at the kayak boat launch. She brings the boats and life jackets, and kayakers bring any extra items they may want as they explore the local creeks and paddle up and down the Mon. Vicky then sends paddlers on their way, and meets them back at the launch at the end of the trip. It’s a simple but effective system, and Vicky has been thrilled with the response to the launch so far. One person stands out in her mind – a woman who came on a Monday for a couple of hours. “The lady came back on Friday with her son, and they went out for another two hours or so,” Vicky remembers.

But perhaps the most touching part of it all is how important this project really is to former land-lover Vicky. Mon River Rec has given her a chance to work with her son and to continue – even in retirement – to help people enjoy the beautiful nature scenes around them. And she already knows what she would like to do as the project continues.

“We definitely want to be environmentally friendly,” according to Vicky. Now a regular paddler, Vicky has already come back from her adventures in boats overflowing with trash. That’s why, “In the future we definitely want to plan a clean-up paddle, because it’s important.”

Clean-up paddles would certainly add an entire new dimension to Vicky’s work – and would fit in perfectly with her current adventures in Point Marion, as there’s “just a whole new area for me to explore and make a positive difference.”

Are you interested in exploring the beautiful waterways around Point Marion? It’s easy to make a reservation and  get out on the water. Contact information and pricing is listed below – so be sure to get in touch and plan your day-trip before the summer’s end!

We recommend bringing the following items with you when you kayak:

 

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • A Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • A Wetbag
  • Water Shoes

 

If you wear a bathing suit, an overshirt or tank top is recommended – the sun can be quite hot during the summer!

Be advised that all kayakers are required to be fitted with a life jacket before their paddle. All visitors will want to work with Vicky during this process to ensure that their life jacket fits and is fastened correctly, both to comply with state regulations and to guarantee that the jacket will keep paddlers afloat in the river should an accident or emergency take place during a paddle.

Rent A Kayak At Point Marion With Mon River Rec

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

July 20, 2017

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

June 14, 2017

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!

Charleroi Community Days – Friday June 30-July 1st

June 9, 2017

Summer Events in Elizabeth

June 8, 2017

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