Cold weather doesn’t slow planning for canoe season or Treasure Island River Fest. 

By Tim Walker

Tired of the cold air hurting your face? Ready for the summertime and anxious to make plans for good times in 2018 in the Ohio sun and the water? You’re not the only one.

“I’m sitting here on a cold, blustery, snowy day,” says Brian Johnson, director of marketing and development for Adventures on the Great Miami. “But we’re talking about a big festival we’re having in the middle of June. This will be our third year for the annual Great Miami River Races and Treasure Island River Fest and we can’t wait.”

Adventures on The Great Miami, a canoe and kayak livery and rental service operating on the Great Miami River, has two easily accessible Miami County locations for river adventurers to choose from once spring arrives. It operates a 17-acre riverfront property in Tipp City and it also has a historic boathouse marina a bit further upriver in nearby Troy. During warm weather the staff at Adventures on the Great Miami stays busy providing river trips, camping, classes and special events for water enthusiasts from all over the area.

The Treasure Island River Fest, which takes place on June 23 in Troy, is one of those special events, and certainly something highly anticipated by local residents. A day-long event, all of the activities during River Fest are focused on the Great Miami River. Three different races will be held that day, including the popular Great Miami 12 Mile River Race and Fun Float, a unique 12-mile river race, open to all skill levels, with awards for best time overall, best team (canoe), and best individual (kayak or stand up paddle board).

“The 12.1-mile race is a popular one,” says Johnson. “The course starts at our Troy location then ends at our Tipp City property. All the participants can then join us for a post-race celebration and awards ceremony that includes food trucks, live music and bonfires.”

The schedule for the day also includes yoga classes and other family-friendly events of all kinds. The city of Troy, which has partnered with Adventures on the Great Miami to help make the annual event a success, has seen each festival grow bigger and more popular than the year before.

The Treasure Island River Fest is modeled in part after Michigan’s annual Au Sable River Festival, which features the 120-mile Au Sable River International Canoe Marathon. That race, first held in 1947, is the longest non-stop canoe-only race in North America and the festival is one of Michigan’s most popular. There’s no doubt, however, that with the help of the cities of Troy, Tipp City and the citizens of Miami County it won’t be long before Adventures on the Great Miami’s festival is right up there with it.