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Giant historic canoes launch in Chemung River

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - From Canada to Elmira, the historic recreation of the North Canoe has officially launched into the Chemung River. 

Hundreds of years ago, these 26-foot-long canoes were used to transport fur, which was the economic backbone of the time. 

Today, the large canoes will begin to transport paddlers in this area fitting 12 people per boat and over one ton in weight. 

"We can basically treat it as a floating classroom for people to come out to the river, have fun, work as a team but also learn about the river environment," Aaron Myers, Manager of Southern Tier Kayak Tours, said.

"We're just showing another way that the public can enjoy the river, use it for outdoor recreation, education and communing with nature." Jim Pfiffer, Executive Director of Chemung River Friends, said. 

The tranquil waters allow for solid control over the boat's direction, regardless of the size. 

Free guided tours on regular-sized boats will be available on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Following the event will be the official launch of these giant canoes for the public to give them a ride. 

"They provide a nice, safe platform for people that are a little nervous to get on the water," Myers said. "They're a great team building event and they're also really good for young children."

Paddlers of all abilities are encouraged to join and enjoy the essence of the Chemung River on Saturday at the Grove Street Boat Launch for the Annual Safe Paddling event. 




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