The 2022 Ohio River Challenge

Court Street Landing @ 9 AM

Help kick-off an amazing five-day Voyageur Canoe Trip paddling from Portsmouth to Cincinnati, plus the official ribbon-cutting on the Ohio River Way project! This event will take place one block from the Holiday Inn and the historic Boneyfiddle Antiques & Entertainment District.

The 250 Mile Canoe Trip from Portsmouth to Louisville to Launch the Ohio River Way from May 31 to June 9 will promote recreation, connect communities, and stimulate economic development.

A team of 20 modern-day adventurers will paddle 250 miles on the Ohio River from Portsmouth, OH to Louisville, KY from May 31 through June 9 to officially launch the Ohio River Way.

As they paddle from town to town in two 30-foot-long Voyager canoes, Ohio River Way leaders will hold ribbon-cutting ceremonies with local officials and community leaders.

“We look forward to celebrating the beauty and majesty of the Ohio River with dozens of communities along the Ohio River Way,” said Brewster Rhoads, Chair of the Ohio River Way Board. “Where else in America can you paddle, fish, water ski, hike, bike, and camp while touring Underground Railroad and Native American sites, historic river towns, 19th-century architecture, picturesque Main Streets, farmers markets and dozens of breweries, wineries, and distilleries.”

“Our trip is all about promoting safe outdoor adventure and recreation along the Ohio – and highlighting the unique historical, cultural and ecological assets to be discovered in the vibrant communities along its banks,” said Dr. David Wicks, Vice-Chair of the Ohio River Way and Board Chair of River City Paddle Sports in Louisville, the organizer of the trip.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies will be held in Portsmouth (OH), Vanceburg (KY), Manchester Island (OH), Maysville (KY), Ripley (OH), Augusta (KY), Chilo (OH), New Richmond (OH), Cincinnati (OH), Covington (KY), Aurora (IN), Rising Sun (IN), Boone’s Landing (KY), Vevay (IN), Carrollton (KY), Madison (IN), Westport (KY) and Louisville (KY).

Communities will be invited to join the Ohio River Way as dues paying members to build a sustainable marketing and advocacy organization to promote recreation, attract tourism and stimulate economic development.

The Ohio River Way team will also present each town with customized metal wayfinding signs for placement at every boat ramp from Portsmouth to Louisville. Paddlers will camp each night in areas designated by the hosting river communities.

The schedule for the trip is below.

Interviews with Ohio River Way representatives can be arranged upon request. Live streaming opportunities may also be available during the paddle.

About the Ohio River Way (ORW)

The Ohio River Way connects people and communities to opportunities for adventure on and along the Ohio River from Portsmouth, OH to West Point, KY. Planning for the ORW began in 2019 with support from the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service. Through its website ( the ORW provides information on river towns, river safety and real-time river conditions along with a master calendar of over 150 annual river town festivals and special events. The ORW’s award-winning Digital Guide to the Ohio River helps paddlers, cyclists, hikers, anglers and motorists plan their adventures by providing information about boat ramps, marinas, campgrounds, bike trails, parks, historic sites and other amenities.

The recent Ohio River Way Mayor’s and Elected Officials Summit, hosted by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, was attended by more than 70 federal, state and local elected officials from communities along a 275-mile stretch of the Ohio River. Representatives from the National Park Service, the Army Corps of Engineers and over 80 organizations, state agencies, tourism bureaus and businesses all shared their support for the Ohio River Way and its potential to drive tourism, generate economic development and enrich the quality of life in river towns from Portsmouth, Ohio to West Point, KY.

For more information on this 5 day event, please contact Jerry Schulte,Safety and Media Coordinator by phone 513-260-8249 or emailing,

Where: Court Street Landing
When: May 31, Start Time 9AM

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