Magazine names Dayton one of the next big paddling towns

Paddlesport aficionados have hand-picked Dayton as a “(Next) Best Paddling Town,” and we want to brag about that for a second.

Canoe and Kayaking Magazine released an article hailing Dayton and the Great Miami Riverway for not only being one of only 22 National Water Trails, "spanning over 150 miles to its confluence with the Ohio River," but for the work Dayton has done to give recreational access to the river.

The article says the Wright Brothers unknowingly laid a foundation for Dayton to be a phenomenal outdoor recreation destination.

“With their eyes set on the sky, the Wright Brothers may not have realized the ground they laid to launch Dayton into a future of recreation tourism, from on-water adventures along the Great Miami Riverway to trails across the land and the open sky above,” according to the article.

"It's fun just to watch the kayakers do tricks and flips in the rapids," said Elizabeth Connor, the Great Miami Riverway Coordinator with the Miami Conservancy District, an organization working to protect, preserve and promote the Riverway and its communities. If you're not ready to get wet, join the ranks of spectators on the riverbank to watch the kayakers play.

The magazine goes on to highlight the many amenities that are available on and around the river trail for paddling, kayaking and canoeing alike. They credit Dayton’s outdoor recreational success to excellent communication and marketing of the region’s opportunities— a powerful combination the author traces back to the Wright Brothers.

“On par with their aviation history, the sky’s the limit for the Great Miami Riverway through Dayton, Ohio,” according to the article.

Credit: Kyle Nagel

Credit: Kyle Nagel


Dayton is known as the Outdoor Adventure Capitol of the Midwest due to recreational opportunities from biking to hiking to water adventures. Here is why Dayton is getting attention for paddling in particular.

>> Best places to hike in Dayton

>> The best bike trails and how to make the most of them


The Great Miami River, Mad River, and Stillwater River were designated as state water trails in August, 2010 and all three water trails were designated as a national water trail in 2016. Together, they make the largest water trail system in Ohio. The trail collectively offers 265 miles of waterway accessible to recreational boaters, fishermen and wildlife watchers. A water trail is a network of publicly accessible facilities that provide opportunities to fish; launch canoes, kayaks, and other craft; and explore the natural and cultural heritage along the river.


The area was already home to Mad River Run at Eastwood MetroPark and the ECO Sports Corridor in Springfield and unveiled the Riverscape River Run in 2017. These are three big destinations for paddlers of all skill levels. But there are many others.

>> Where to paddle in Dayton and what to know before you go

>> Why Riverscape River Run is a HUGE deal for Dayton

>> Your guide to making the most of Riverscape River Run


Parks systems and businesses continue to work on ways to facilitate paddlesport recreation in the area, including programming and equipment rentals for beginners to advanced canoe and kayak enthusiasts.


• Whitewater Warehouse, 104 Valley St., Dayton; 937-222-7020; Facebook

• Great Miami Outfitters, 25 E. Linden Ave., Miamisburg; (937) 847-8787; Facebook

• Adventures on the Great Miami, 1995 E. Ross Road, Tipp City; (937) 266-6252; Facebook

• Twin Creek Kayak & Canoe Livery, 1341 W. Market St, Germantown; (937) 903-8934

• Barefoot Canoe Livery, 235 E. Tipp Pike, West Milton, call: (937) 698-4351 or text: (937) 344-2833; offers kayaking and canoeing trips; Facebook


• Five Rivers MetroParks 

• Whitewater Warehouse 

• Great Miami Outfitters 

• Sierra Club – Miami Group 

• Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft

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