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Being a downriver race, the Ohio River Paddlefest starts at Schmidt Park and ends at Riverside Park - both located right in the heart of downtown Cincinnati.

Schmidt Park includes the staging area for participating with safe and secure storage the night before the race. There is plenty of free parking as well as port-a-potties for bathrooms.

Riverside Park is ...


Racers, along with all of the "floating" participants, have the option to dropoff crafts the Friday afternoon before the race. You can pull through the circle dropoff area and unload and then park. There are PLENTY of volunteers to help unload and carry crafts to the secured staging area, where crafts will stay until early the next morning.


Friday night also features a fest of food trucks, expo tents, as well, racers can check in for the race.


Saturday morning, much like those of you who have attended Chattajeack, will begin in the dark. You have the option to park at the start, paddle downriver, and then shuttle back to your car after you finish your race. Others of you may choose to park at the finish and take the shuttle (or hitch a ride) to the race start. We find it better to have your vehicle at the finish, but it's up to you!

Race Director Adrian Angel and Course Director XXXX will lead a brief Racers Meeting at the launch area. Then racers will take to the water as light dawns over the city.

The race is all



1. Amazing views of downtown Cincinnatti

2. Friday night expo and food trucks

3. Meeting up with friends from all over!


The river is typically slow moving, not offering much assistance to your paddle, but something is better than nothing! Be on the looking for large logs along the way.


Both races are mostly downriver, however, they both start with a short "dash" upriver to a turn buoy and then it's all "downhill" from there, but this is the best way to keep folks lined up for the start. 

After you make your one and only right turn, you typically stay towards the middle of the river and simply curve with it, but some may elect to "cut" some corners, but if you do you can hit some shallow areas. 

You'll pass under 7 different bridges along the way, you may also encounter some LIVE MUSIC being played ON the water, to go with some spectacular views of downtown Cinncinatti. 

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