Paddlefest

Two kayakers who finished first offered assistance to others coming into the boat launch at Harmon Station.

Forty paddlers hit the water of the Levisa Fork River Saturday for the first Levisa Fork Paddlefest hosted by Prestonsburg Tourism. In rented and personal kayaks and canoes, the group traveled the eight-mile trip down river from Prestonsburg to the Harmon Station Landing in Johnson County. 

“The trip took about three and a half hours with the way that the river was running,” Prestonsburg Tourism Director Samantha West said. “Everyone was escorted by Prestonsburg Water and Rescue Squad who assisted if anyone had issues on the way.”

West offered a few tips to anyone interested in trying kayaking for the first time. 

“I would say to try renting a kayak or canoe if you’re trying it for the first time — that way you can find out if you like it before investing in a watercraft,” she said. “It’s also important to pick out a craft that fits your height and weight specifications.”

She said people who are shorter than 5 ft. 6 in. should choose a kayak that’s between eight and 10 ft. long and that anyone who is taller than 5 ft. 7 in. would be best suited with a 10 ft. kayak or canoe. 

“Finally — stay safe. Always wear your life jacket and never go alone,” West said. “Each time you go, you can learn something new to make your next trip even better.”

The next Paddlefest is scheduled for June 22 and begins at 8 a.m. at the Prestonsburg boat launch behind Billy Ray’s Restaurant. 

Registration is $15 and includes a catered lunch and a shuttle service. Visit, prestonsburgky.org, or call, (606) 886-1341, for more information.

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