- Jim Ingram
The $4 million RiverScape River Run project is officially open to the public. But what exactly is it and how can it benefit you? In short, the Five Rivers MetroParks Great Miami River attraction is designed for boating enthusiasts of varying skill levels.
WHAT IS IT?
“River Run is two structures that completely span the river that have two channels through them. One channel is a whitewater chute, and one channel is the recreational — or somewhat easier chute,” said Outdoor Recreation Coordinator Erik Dahlstrom.
Outdoor lovers have already taken to both structures — located at RiverScape and near the Dayton Art Institute, respectively, Dahlstrom said.
“It seems like just about every day someone is out there playing in the whitewater.”
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
Good news! It’s absolutely free and open to the public.
HOW DO I START?
If you’re not a seasoned kayaker, have no fear. Five Rivers MetroParks offers classes on boating and navigating through whitewater to keep you as dry as reasonably can be expected. Click here to learn more about paddling facilities and classes MetroParks has to offer and to download maps.
Five Rivers MetroParks offers paddling classes, and this year classes will include paddling the RiverScape River Run.
Paddlers will learn techniques and safety and can begin in calm water and advance to the whitewater of the River Run.
Call 275-PARK (7275) for more information.
Guided trips through the River Run, water safety training and other paddling programs are also available through local retailers such as Whitewater Warehouse (937-222-7020) and Great Miami Outfitters (937-847-8787).
DO I NEED TO BUY GEAR?
“Most whitewater paddlers will probably bring their own gear. There are local retailers that you can connect with to get gear. There are also some livery operations out and around,” Dahlstrom said.
Those include places like Whitewater Warehouse at 104 Valley St. in Dayton. These places rent boating gear and, in some cases, will help you get in the river from their locations. A detailed list of area liveries can be found here.
Feature #1: There are three river access points in RiverScape Metropark:
- Stairs at the west end of the park at Jefferson Street.
- Ramp and stairs in the center of the park between Jefferson and St. Clair streets.
- Stairs toward the east end of the park at St. Clair Street.
Feature #2: River access is available at either end of the Dayton View Bridge at the west end of Monument Avenue:
- Ramp and stairs at the east end of the Dayton View Bridge.
- Stairs at the west end of the Dayton View Bridge.
WHERE DO I PARK?
That all depends on where on the river you decide to enter. Dahlstrom says people who want a longer river experience should park at Eastwood MetroPark (1401 Harshman Rd.) and paddle down. If you’re renting gear from a livery, they will have varying parking options.
Parking near the first structure at RiverScape means metered street parking. particularly on Monument Avenue and Jefferson, St. Clair, and Harries streets. On-street, metered parking is free on weekdays after 6 p.m. and all day on weekends. Another option is Code Credit Union’s lot on West Monument Street — after business hours — near the second structure.
Parking to access Feature #2 is available at the west end of Monument Avenue under the I-75 bridge.