Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend – aka the unofficial start of summer. And do you know what that means? It’s time to start planning for the 7th Annual CFI Canoe Trip and Picnic. The date this year is Sunday, August 16th.
For those of you not familiar with this family-friendly event, it goes like this: For those into canoeing/kayaking, it starts at Youghiougheny Outfitters in West Newton in the morning where you check-in. You are then transported upriver to the put-in where you embark on the leisurely float downriver. If you take the most popular option, the Smithton Beach put-in, you will travel about seven miles downriver. You will spend a total of about four hours on the water. (If you are a little more adventurous or ambitious, you can check-in two hours earlier and go further upriver to the Whitsett Landing to put-in there – giving you about six total hours on the water and a journey of about eleven miles.) It should be noted that there is no real whitewater over this course – it is mostly just a leisurely float downriver. There are some shallows and some slight rapids, but nothing really challenging. Great for a first canoeing/kayaking experience.
Approximately halfway between Smithton and West Newton, there is a boat ramp on the Left Banke (no, Renee doesn’t have to walk away) which is at Cedar Creek Park. You can pull your craft out of the water there and walk along the shore to the left to the first pavilion, Pavilion #19, where you will find a bunch of like-minded people to join for a Louisiana-style Cajun Shrimp Boil. If you have never experienced such a gastronomic experience, you have got to try it. Loads of shrimp with corn on the cob, redskin potatoes, lemons, lots of cooked garlic, and butter and crusty baguettes of French bread. This will be topped off with some Cajun-style bread pudding with rum sauce.
For those not into canoeing/kayaking but who still want to engage in physical activity, the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail, which stretches from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC, runs right past the pavilion. If you like, you can bring your own bicycle and tool around on the trail, or if you prefer, you can rent a bicycle from Trailside Treasures right at the south end of the Boston Bridge in McKeesport. From there, it is a two-hour bike ride to Cedar Creek Park. Or, you can just take a leisurely walk around the park area, or only come for the Shrimp Boil. Of course, if you prefer, you can bring your own food to eat while still enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded people.
Pricing for the various components are as follows:
Shrimp boil – adults $12.00
Canoes/tandem kayaks $50.00*
3rd person in canoe w/vest $3.00*
Single kayaks (sit-in or sit-on) $29.00*
If you have your own canoe or kayak, Yough Outfitters will provide transport for you and your craft upriver for $16.00*.
Note: Backrests for the canoes are available
*prices include PA Use Tax
Bicycle rental at Trailside Treasures is $20.00/day + 7% tax
Please reserve your desired spots as soon as you have made your plans by emailing BillK at firstname.lastname@example.org This way, we can keep you updated on schedules and directions and other items to make it a more pleasant experience.
Payment should be sent to: CFI – Pittsburgh
PO Box 3912
Pittsburgh, PA 15230-3912
Payment needs to be received by August 8, 2015. If you should have any questions, contact BillK at 412-384-5893 or by email at email@example.com .