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Ohio River activities and recreation opportunities


River activities and recreation opportunities abound in Ohio's Washington County

MARIETTA, OH (May 3, 2010) – The rivers surrounding Marietta are a part of its history, culture and daily life that offer glimpses into the past, as well as an abundance of recreation opportunities in the present.
Enjoy the lazy days of summer on the Muskingum or Ohio Rivers with a kayak/canoe trip, a sternwheel cruise and other water activities!
The Ohio River National Scenic Byway is the longest byway in the United States, spanning 967 miles and gracing more than 200 communities along the Ohio River. The Byway tells the story of the great Ohio River which originated 10,000 years ago when glaciers diverted existing rivers The Byway runs through three states: Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. In Ohio, the Byway extends for 462 miles of historic, cultural, scenic and naturally abundant landscape from the Pennsylvania border to the Indiana state line via Ohio 39, Ohio 7, Ohio 618, Ohio 124, US 52 and US 50.
The Muskingum River Water Trail is a unique offering in Washington County. The trail runs from Marietta to Coshocton, Ohio for a length of 112 miles on the Muskingum River. The trail features 10 locks that are operated by hand – just as they were when they were built in 1841. Cities along the river provide ample amenities for through-boaters and day-trippers alike. Plan a day or a weekend trip down or up the Muskingum River on the Muskingum River Water Trail in a motorized or hand-powered boat, taking stops to see the sights and stretch your legs, pass through the locks or spend the night.
“In addition to the activity on the water with local high school and college rowing teams, we have other river recreation opportunities for visitors,” Marietta/Washington Co. Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Wendy Wharff said. “We encourage them to take the time to explore the Ohio River National Scenic Byway and the Muskingum River Water Trail. From day trips and cruises to longer weekend excursions, there is something for every boater.”
A unique opportunity to explore Marietta’s river history on foot is through a free 1.5 hour tour of the river’s flood control system created and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Guided tours of the Willow Island Lock & Dam system takes visitors through tunnels inside the dam system, then to the top for a stunning, birds-eye view of the Ohio River.
For those who would like to relax and enjoy the river scenery the Valley Gem Sternwheeler offers public and charted cruises from June through October with special 90-minute sightseeing cruises, lock tours, dinner cruises, and fall foliage tours. The Valley Gem was built in 1989 to resemble the authentic paddlewheel boats that once navigated the rivers. For more information, visit
There are several convenient put-ins and boat ramps for easy access to the Muskingum River with the Marietta Boat Ramp at Indian Acres Park (off of Muskingum Drive) near the Washington County Fairgrounds and the Marietta Harbor located behind Front Street.
If you would like to meet other individuals interested in outdoor recreation in Marietta make plans to attend a meeting of the Marietta Rowing & Cycling Club. The club provides organized biking and boating activities for the region and is home of the local Dragon Boat Team! Meetings are open to the public and are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at the Marietta College Boathouse on Gilman Street. For more information, contact Dan Jones at (740) 350-6418 or or visit
For more information on these events, visit or call the Marietta/Washington Co. Convention and Visitors Bureau at 740-373-5178.

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