Have you ever wondered how people got around in the Akron area long before it was a developed city? One effective mode was navigating our many canals, which served as the “freeways.” The upcoming Akron Portage & Paddle offers a unique canoe and kayak race that hearkens back to the area’s Native American roots.
The “canoe and carry” endurance competition starts Saturday, May 20, at 10 a.m., and takes an estimated two to three hours to complete. The race will begin at Nesmith Lake (for the more fervent paddlers) or Summit Lake and lead through the locks of downtown Akron. The drop-off points are Lock 3 and Cascade Lofts.
For the first half of the race, participants will paddle for two to three miles, with about a mile and a half of “portaging,” or carrying the canoes or kayaks. An afterparty event will take place at the Cascade Lofts and Mustill Store in downtown Akron.
The event plans to be “zero waste,” and registration includes lunch, an arrowhead necklace, a T-shirt and transportation from the finish line to the afterparty. Canoe and kayak rentals also are available.
Click here to register (which ranges from $15 to $30). Races will include family-friendly options. Also available are “pedal” or “pace” options, which include bicycling or hiking/running along the Towpath.
The Portage & Paddle is hosted by the West Hill Neighborhood Development Corp.
*Packet pick-up is Friday, May 19, at the Summit County Historical Society, 550 Copley Road. This will also include a history lesson with Dave Lieberth on our local Native American history and their use of the Portage Path.