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Paddling along the Chemung River to be smooth sailing with new shuttle service

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - If you enjoy paddling, but can't stand the hassle that comes with it, then the new shuttle bus with attached trailer may be the answer.

"I think it's amazing," Cynthia Huling-Hummel, a paddler said. "Gosh, it's perfect."

The new shuttle service was created by the Chemung River Friends and First Transit. It will travel between Wellsburg and Painted Post.

"The big hassle with paddling is dropping off cars, going back to the other car, people following you," Jim Pfiffer, the executive director of the Chemung River Friends, said. "It dissuades a lot of people from doing it."

Paddlers can load their canoe or kayak on to the trailer and ride to the launch pad of their choice. For paddlers like Huling-Hummel, this service will be a saving-grace.

"I only just paddled locally," She said. "I couldn't do trips before unless they were planned trips with a group that set up the transportation. So this will just open more opportunities to see the river."

In order to ride the shuttle, you need to have tickets ahead of time. You can purchase tickets off the shuttle's Eventbrite page. Each ticket is $20 plus a handling fee. You must print out your ticket and present it before boarding the shuttle.

"It makes it easier, it makes it safer to go paddling," Pfiffer said. "People get to enjoy the river for recreation, a visit with nature and for education."

The shuttle is even projected to help boost the economy along the river.

"We've seen use of the river increase over the last seven to 10 years," Kamala Keeley, the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, said. "I think having that increase means that there's also new opportunities for business development along the river."

The service starts this Saturday with two trips a day. The shuttle schedule is as follows:

Morning route:

1. Start at Toll Bridge Boat Launch, Wellsburg, Town of Ashland, 9 a.m.

2. To Wellsburg to Dunn Field, Elmira, 9:30 a.m.

3. Dunn Field to Grove St., Elmira, 9:50 a.m.

4. Grove Street to Fitch’s Bridge, Big Flats,10:10 a.m.

5. Fitch’s Bridge to Minier’s/Sen. Smith Boat Launch, Big Flats, 10:35 a.m.

6. Minier’s/Sen. Smith to Bottcher’s Landing Boat Launch, Big Flats,10:45

7. End at Bottcher’s Landing to Kinsella Park Boat Launch, 11:20 a.m.

Afternoon route:

8. Start at Toll Bridge Boat Launch, Wellsburg, Town of Ashland, 1:30 p.m.

9. To Wellsburg to Dunn Field, Elmira, 2 p.m.

10. Dunn Field to Grove St., Elmira, 2:20 p.m.

11. Grove Street to Fitch’s Bridge, Big Flats, 2:40 p.m.

12. Fitch’s Bridge to Minier’s/Sen. Smith Boat Launch, Big Flats, 3 p.m.

13. Minier’s/Sen. Smith to Bottcher’s Landing Boat Launch, Big Flats, 3:15

14. End at Bottcher’s Landing to Kinsella Park Boat Launch, 3:50 p.m.


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