by Peggy Mazyck
Spring is here, and it’s time to plan an outdoor adventure that the entire family will enjoy. The Shenango River Water trail offers 1, 4, 8, 12 or 23 miles of fun.
The trail is class I rapids, with a few riffles to add some spice as it flows gently through canopy forests and pastureland. The total distance is about 23 miles, but numerous take out/launch sites provide convenient points to match diverse interests. Carried Away Outfitters has a fleet of kayaks and canoes for your waterways adventure. Part of your rental fee includes a shuttle to or from your destination. They also offer paddle boards and bicycle rentals. Contact them at 724-343-1313.
You may begin your float just below the dam in Pymatuning State Park, floating through Jamestown. A few miles further, at Halfway Rd., is a take-out/launch site just beyond the bridge on the left. Three more miles brings you to Porter Rd. takeout, located again just beyond the bridge, river right.
After eight miles of leisurely paddling, you arrive in Greenville’s Riverside Park. Here are picnic pavilions, flush toilets, potable water, and Greenville’s amenities within walking distance.
Further down the river, you will reach Kidds Mill Covered Bridge Park, a great place to take a break and have lunch. Here, there are picnic tables and clean pit toilets (maintained by the Shenango Conservancy). Stay left to land.
The balance of the land between the covered bridge and Big Bend is owned by the Corps of Engineers. It has not been logged in many years and is totally undeveloped. It is arguably the most beautiful part of the upper reach.
Toward the end of the float is a launch below the bridge at New Hamburg. Finally, the last “take-out” on the Water Trail is at “Big Bend,” maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. Big Bend is just before the river flows into Lake Shenango.
For fun on the waterways, come to Mercer County, PA.