River’s Edge Phase 1
The Foundation and Park have partnered to complete Phase 1 of construction by fall 2020. Through a grant with the DNR, we have already met most of our goal. River’s Edge will be a highlight of Fayette County. Features will include an outdoor amphitheater, concession building, playground, open air shelter, and a canoe launch.
Canoe Launch Is Open! The county now has its first canoe launch and the first public launch on the river. Local and DNR officials cut the ribbon November 1 to open the launch to the public. The entrance is west of Duke Energy on the south side of Veterans Memorial Drive. The rock drive leads to a small pakring area. A rock drive goes down to the launch area parking lot. A concrete pad was poured for those with handicapped accessible permits. The parking lot allows the driver to back a truck and trailer down toward the river but not into the river, such as locations with traditional boat launches.
Funding for the project came from the DNR Sport Fish Restoration Grant which is a small tax on the sale of sports fishing equipment and from fishing licenses, said William Seegers, DNR public access program supervisor. He said, “We have these public access sites all across the state. This is what we call canoe portage, designed for the canoe to be carried in and out rather than to drive into the river. This is the first one in Fayette County and the first one on the Whitewater River we’ve done through our program.”
Patrons should use caution that trailers should not be backed into the river or launches made when the river is too high to safely navigate. The City is researching sites for a second launch to determine if there are any within the county that meet the DNR’s requirement of a 10 mile distances between sites.
The Canoe Launch is the first project to be completed of Phase 1 of River’s Edge Park. Other projects will include an amphitheater, playground, shelter, and concession building.