“The most rewarding part of my work is when I see a family come out of the creek with big smiles on their faces,” said Mark Ketzel, owner of Twin Creek Kayak & Canoe Livery. “It’s like they’ve been lifted up.”
Many local liveries are now utilizing online reservation and payment systems as a more convenient and reduced-contact option. Waivers are also available online.
“It helps control the number of people coming out and reduces wait times,” Rohrer said.
Groups are limited to no more than 10 people. Transportation has also been impacted by new statewide guidelines with fewer people being transported on each shuttle — typically just the group you are paddling with.
“We are departing almost continuously now,” Rohrer said.
All of the boats, paddles and other equipment are disinfected after each use. And, in accordance with the new Ohio Department of Health guidelines, outfitters are not currently permitted to transport private kayaks. Pets are also not permitted.
Same old fun
While social distancing can be a challenging new component of some activities, it’s easy to do on the water.
“When you’re on the river, you can easily steer clear of people and bypass a beach area if it’s too crowded,” Rohrer said.
RiversEdge has about 15 small beach areas along the Little Miami River that paddlers can enjoy.
And the cool refreshing water and peaceful surroundings are an ideal place to shake of the stress of the past few months. Studies have shown that time spent in nature can reduce anxiety and depression and lead to an increased overall sense of well-being.
“It’s been a tough year for a lot of people and this is a great way to forget your troubles,” Ketzel said.