The Friends of the Chemung River Watershed are introducing giant Indian canoes on the Chemung River.
Southern Tier Kayak Tours and the Chemung River Friends have partnered to offer rides to the public in three 26-foot-long canoes. The free public rides begin on June 9 at a free public safe paddling and canoe/kayak rides event at the Grove Street Boat Launch in Elmira.
Two of the canoes will be featured at a press conference on June 7 at 10 a.m. at the Grove Street Launch on the Chemung River.
The giant canoes hold 10 passengers and one guide and offer first-time paddlers an opportunity to learn how to enjoy river recreation.
“This is the first time the giant canoes will be in the river and the first time the public can try them out for free,” said Chemung River Friends Executive Director Jim Pfiffer. “The canoes, owned and operated by Southern Tier Kayak Tours (STKT), offer a new and thrilling way for people to enjoy the river and learn how to paddle as a team.”
After the event, the giant canoes will be available for two-hour guided tours at the Grove Street Boat Launch. Participants learn basic paddling, local river history and ecology, and discover the plants and wildlife that thrive on the waterway. Each paddler will get a life vest, paddle and river squirt gun.
On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. volunteers from the River Friends and the AWAGHA Canoe & Kayak Club will offer free paddle lessons and rides in regular size canoes and kayaks.