GREENVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – When Pennsylvania’s Department of Natural Resources named the Shenango River River of the Year in February, First News couldn’t check it out because of the wintery weather.
However, in the summer months, the eight-mile canoe and kayak run from Pymatuning Reservoir to Greenville is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
Meadville’s Audrye Rose Gilbert looked to be loving life Monday afternoon as she lounged on her kayak floating along the Shenango River near Greenville.
Gilbert agrees with Shenango’s designation as Pennsylvania’s River of the Year. She’s gone down it 10 times.
“Oh, most definitely. No doubt about it. The best river around here,” Gilbert said.
Owner Casey Shilling has run Carried Away Outfitters since 2012, renting kayaks, canoes and innertubes out of Greenville’s Riverside Park.
“The summer has just been booming now that our suppliers got all of our kayaks in,” Shilling said.
On Monday, person after person, group after group, finished their trip down the Shenango and parked their boats at his livery.
“I think that River of the Year is just keeping everything moving. We’re getting a lot of people from out of town. A lot more people from Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Erie,” Shilling said.
Ellwood City’s C.J. Stephenson is an avid kayaker. This was his first time down the Shenango.
“Oh, it wasn’t too bad. I have kayaked rivers before, and most of the time, I’m dragging basically the majority of the way. This is not bad at all,” Stephenson said.
Brad Elder of Stoneboro had three young boys with him. He thoroughly enjoyed the ride.
“In and out, lots of logs. We had to duck under a few of them, but you had to go around others. Once in a while there’s some rocks that are up higher. You have to get out and lift over, but that’s the deal with canoeing and kayaking,” Elder said.
“It’s nice and calm and a couple spots were a little bit more rough, and it gives you that whole kayaking feel, and I absolutely love it,” Gilbert said.
“You’re constantly turning and avoiding obstacles and it’s just completely engulfed with leaves. You just feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s a nice little getaway,” Shilling said.
The eight-mile trip from Pymatunting to Greenville through Carried Away Outfitters is $40, and it includes everything you need.
If you have your own kayak, there’s even a service where they’ll transport you. Shilling says his business is 10 times that from when he started nine years ago.