Kayak and canoe launches to be built on Flint River - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kayak and canoe launches to be built on Flint River

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Part of the Flint River that runs along the Riverfront park in downtown Albany Part of the Flint River that runs along the Riverfront park in downtown Albany
Ewell Lyle, Dougherty County Commissioner Ewell Lyle, Dougherty County Commissioner
A blueprint of ADICA's plans to place two kayak & canoe launches in the Riverfront Park.  One placed behind the Flint Riverquarium (right), and anothe rplaced behind Ray Charles Plaza (left) A blueprint of ADICA's plans to place two kayak & canoe launches in the Riverfront Park. One placed behind the Flint Riverquarium (right), and anothe rplaced behind Ray Charles Plaza (left)
Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager
Part of the Flint River along the Riverfront Park in downtown Albany Part of the Flint River along the Riverfront Park in downtown Albany
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

It will soon be easier for you to take a ride down the Flint River.  Monday, the Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority showed county leaders their plans to build three new kayak and canoe launches they hope will boost tourism and spark economic growth.

The rushing waters of the Flint River could be untapped potential for economic prosperity.

"It's a long time coming.  We've talked about having utilization of the river.  It's really an economic resource for us that we're not doing much with," said Ewell Lyle, Dougherty County Commissioner.

County leaders were presented with ADICA's plan to build three kayak and canoe launch points.  One is planned near the Georgia power dam, and two more in the riverfront park near the Flint Riverquarium and Ray Charles Plaza. 

"I think environmentally and recreationally it's a great project," said Lyle.

The launches are within a two mile radius in an urban area, and will put Albany on the Georgia River Network, which could be marketed to generate tourism.

"We've had several meetings with individuals, whether it's a new event based off of canoeing and kayaking or canoe marathons, canoe sprints from the dam to downtown.  You know, things like that is what we're starting to look at," said Aaron Blair, Downtown Manager. 

Blair said having two launch points in the Riverfront Park will allow kayakers of different levels to navigate the waters.  So those who wish to go through the rapids can do that, or novice kayakers can exit behind the Riverquarium.

Planners say November and December are prime months to build because water levels are at their lowest, and they hope to have the ramps completed by spring.

"We just want them done right.  Obviously it'd be amazing if they were done before the marathon in March and the Mardi Gras street festival and things like that.  So that would be an ideal in a perfect world," said Blair. 

So kayaks and canoes could be navigating the waters soon.

The downtown manager said the Flint Riverquarium could be a good outfitter for kayakers and canoers at the new launches, but other venders have also voiced interest in the project.

Commissioners will take a vote on the proposal at their next meeting.  

 

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