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The Suburbanite
  • Water’s Edge expands Canal Fulton Canoe Livery’s horizons

  • It began several years ago as a tabletop discussion between two friends – Canal Fulton Canoe Livery owner and President Don Baker and Daniel Rice, president and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition.

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  • It began several years ago as a tabletop discussion between two friends – Canal Fulton Canoe Livery owner and President Don Baker and Daniel Rice, president and CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition.
    That discussion has become a reality.
    On March 29, Water’s Edge at Nesmith Lake was officially launched.
    “This is the new highway to downtown,” said Akron Ward 9 City Councilman Mike Freeman on the new canoe launch location at 2666 Manchester Road. “You can put (a canoe) in on a Friday night, paddle all the way downtown and eat all you want because you will work it off paddling back to Nesmith Lake.”
    Indeed, the location has been part of the Canal Fulton Canoe Livery itinerary for some time.
    “We used to just push off of this weeded, bumpy area,” Canal Fulton Canoe Livery Vice President and Marketing Director Paulette Snyder said.
    Baker said the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition launched boats from the location once a year. Making it more amenable to those activities, he said, seemed like a logical move.
    Creating the formal launch location for canoeing, kayaking, paddle and fishing boats, bicycling, tubing and more included the relocation of a building from the Canoe Livery’s Cherry Street location in Canal Fulton.
    “But if it wasn’t for Don, we would probably still be at square one,” Baker said. Rice said that his role was simply one of coordinating the various entities involved, including a fully supportive Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and other city representatives such as Freeman.
    “There is no doubt there is a demand for this,” Rice said of the launch enabling boaters to connect to Summit Lake in Akron and see the city from a completely new perspective. “This really fills a void — I can truly see people taking canoe trips to Canal Park, then either pedal or paddle back. And none of this would have been possible without Don and Paulette’s vision and hard work.”
    The official Water’s Edge opening weekend will be May 3 through 5 and will include 50 percent off two-hour canoe rental. The opening coincides with the Free
    Comic Book Day on May 4, hosted annually by the Canal Fulton-based Toys That Time Forgot
    Throughout the year, Water’s Edge will host a variety of events and discounts, such as college ID nights, a safety services appreciation day, and veterans  appreciation day.
    Water’s Edge will both add to, and augment Canal Fulton Canoe Livery’s established programs and events, Snyder said.
    “From this launch, you can go to Summit Lake in Akron, but we will also have bike rentals (at Water’s Edge),” she said. “And the Towpath is right here, and you can take that all the way to Canal Fulton. We also do guided bike tours.”
    Page 2 of 2 - For the especially adventurous, Towpath excursions of up to 40 miles – from Barberton to Bolivar - can be made.
    “There are a lot of benefits,” Snyder said. “And we really want to partner with schools, Children’s Hospital, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, church youth groups and really bring something to the community. The whole goal is to give kids something to do besides sitting on the couch in front of video games.”