Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival offers multiple activities

Photo by Janelle Patterson Kayakers of all skill levels gather to practice their strokes during an outing to Veto Lake Friday as part of the Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival.

MARIETTA — With paddles in the water and both feet and tires on the trails, the active weekend of the Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival was in full swing Friday.

“We found the gnomes!” squeaked Aubrey Christensen, 9, of Marietta, as she finished the gnome hike with her family and friends at Kroger Wetlands Friday. “The one with the bear and the gnomes sleeping by the fire (were the favorites).”

Aubrey’s mother Katie said she was excited to bring her family to the hike Friday, and noticed how engaged the children were.

“They kept their eyes peeled on discovery, searching for those gnomes and forging on,” said Katie.

“They never asked if it was over yet,” added Cassidi Shoaf, with her two young children in tow.

Photo by Janelle Patterson Dan Jones explains the mechanics of productive paddling strokes before taking out a group of kayakers on Veto Lake Friday during the Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival.

Approximately 115 people showed up for the first of two gnome hikes hosted by the eighth annual Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival.

A.J. Ligas said he was astonished by the numbers Friday morning and excited to see new faces Friday afternoon at the Veto Lake events as well.

“We even had some adults from WASCO come this morning which was pretty cool to see,” he said as he unloaded a kayak for the afternoon on the water. “Now here we have experienced paddlers with years of experience on the water bringing newbies, and families just coming on their own to join in the fun with their young kids.”

Ligas and Dan Jones, of Marietta, were the leaders of the adventure paddle at the lake Friday and planned to be on the water again this morning for the thru-paddle coming from Lowell down through the lock below Devol’s Dam and to the Williamstown boat ramp.

“Make sure to bring water, sunscreen, $5 per boat for the lock fee and money for the food truck,” noted Jones before beginning instruction on stroke technique. “What people don’t realize about kayaking is it’s not an arm and shoulder sport, it’s your core.”

Photo by Janelle Patterson Paddlers of all ages hop in the water at Veto Lake for an adventure Friday.

So Jones spent 20 minutes on dry land with those gathered, reviewing how to keep a boat straight on the water, not get carpal tunnel, and efficiently stroke without tiring out too quickly.

Denise Tessum, of Barlow, said she was excited to just get more people in the water Friday.

“We’ve been paddling since before it was cool, 15 years now,” she said with a chuckle. “Most people gravitate to a sit-on-top kayak because they feel more stable. But we’ve had several kayaks over the years so we can always take friends out.”

Then Jones led the group out on the water, practicing perpendicular blades, and controlled sweep strokes to turn their boats around.

But there’s more in store for the weekend, added Ligas.

Photo by Janelle Patterson Norah Grose, left, looks back at Lucas Grose, center, her mother Candice, back, and friends Aubrey Christensen, front, and Katie Christensen, right, during the Gnome Hike at Kroger Wetlands Friday.

“The kid events are what I’m excited for, especially the ones we’ve not had before like building the mini boats and painting…there will be plenty for the whole family to enjoy as the adults sample the different brews from the beer fest and the kids enjoy the adventure zone,” he added.

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Today’s Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival Schedule:

Anytime

* Paddler’s Riddle Run

* Bicycle Scavenger Hunt

* 8 a.m.: Yoga at East Muskingum Park.

* 8 a.m.: Walk with a Doc, Meet up at Wayne Street Medical Campus.

* 8:30 a.m.: Hike at Broughton’s Nature and Wildlife Education Area.

* 9 a.m.: Festival headquarters open at East Muskingum Park.

* 9 to 10 a.m. Register for the free group rides and to pick up information for the day’s events.

* 9 a.m.: Lowell to Marietta group Lock-thru Paddle departs from Buell Island in Lowell.

* 9 a.m. to noon: Challenged Athletes of West Virginia Handcycle Demo.

* 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Specialized Bicycles “Test the Best” Bike Demo.

* 10 a.m.: Group Rides, all departing from East Muskingum Park: Mountain Bike; Road Bike; Around Town.

* 10 a.m.: Intro to Trail Running.

* 10:30 a.m.: MOV’n Dragons: Explore Dragon Boating.

* 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Kegs & Eggs featuring Listermann Brewing Company at The House of Wines in Devola.

* Noon to 3 p.m.: Bike Rodeo, Strider Adventure Zone & Make Safe Happen Program for children.

* 1 to 2 p.m.: Yoga at East Muskingum Park.

* 2 p.m.: Family Fun Ride, departs from East Muskingum Park.

* 3 to 4 p.m.: RTA Beer Fest VIP Hour at East Muskingum Park. (For entry, pick up a platinum VIP package at the festival headquarters. Entry will include a glass and five tastings).

* 4 to 7 p.m.: RTA Beer Fest General Admission.

* 7 p.m.: Bike Parade beginning at East Muskingum Park.

* 7:30 p.m.: The Tortoise & Hare World Championship at East Muskingum Park.

* 7 p.m.: Jackie O’s Tap Takeover at The Galley.

* 7 to 10 p.m.: Matt Petty & The Whiskey Chasers at Boathouse BBQ.

* 8 p.m.: Prize Drawings at East Muskingum Park.

* 8 to 11 p.m.: Rhinegeist Rarities at The Marietta Brewing Company.

* 9 p.m.: Reverend Horton Heat with Wayne Hancock at The Adelphia Music Hall.

* 9 p.m. to midnight: Jason Allwood at River Town Grill.

* 9 p.m. to midnight: Two Buds & A Slap Box at Gator’s Easy Wind Pub.

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