Kayakers fill waterways for first whitewater weekend in County Pike
ELKHORN CITY, Ky. (WYMT) – The first weekend of whitewater kayaking is on the books. Kayakers filled the Ratliff Hole area on Saturday and Sunday to take advantage of the Flannagan Dam exit for the annual October activities.
“The first weekend is always the most exciting because everyone is so super excited to be there,” said kayaker Bob Larkin. “Success lies not only in the number of people who come, but also in the general good environment. Everyone is smiling and everyone is having a good time.
With a turnout that the kayakers say was a success, those involved are eager to see what the next three weekends will look like. Ratliff Hole is rented by the Bluegrass Wildwater Association during the month of October to allow kayakers to camp and navigate the water that connects Kentucky and Virginia.
Kayakers say the area is a hidden treasure for adventure tourism, and being able to host events like this is the best way to showcase all the area has to offer, while also spending time together. by creating links around shared loves.
“You have to love being in the natural world, you have to have a sense of adventure and you have to really get an adrenaline rush,” said kayaker Brian Storz.
They encourage travelers to head to Elkhorn and Breaks Interstate Park, saying the river is home to different areas perfect for all skill levels.
“We saw, just during this first week, an outcry from people from all over the United States,” said Tyler Hamilton, ranger of Breaks Interstate Park. “Lots of different possibilities for all experience levels of kayakers.”
But they said the options for adventure extend far beyond the water.
“It’s definitely a gem for kayakers. It is a gem for the community. It’s a gem for the Southeast, ”Storz said.
From hiking and paddling, to Breaks Interstate Park programs and the recently reopened Canyon Rim zipline, park rangers say there is always something to do on dry land if nautical tourism isn’t. not something you sink with.
“As the leaves change and the scenery changes, it’s never the same route,” Hamilton said.
Kayakers and park staff also look forward to the upcoming “Lord of the Fork” Whitewater Kayak Race on October 23, where they expect to see kayakers from around the world touring the mountains.
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