PRESTONSBURG – Recreational boaters from across Kentucky hit the Big Sandy river on Saturday to take in one last trip down the river to end out the season.
The event, which was hosted by both the cities of Prestonsburg and Paintsville began at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at the Prestonsburg City River Park (behind Billy Ray’s Restaurant).
Participants took advantage of a fair current, and beautiful weather to pilot their canoes and kayaks down the river.
Don Fields, one of the organizers of the event, said that this weekends event had at least thirty five participants.
“This was the third event this year,” said Fields. “Next year we plan to have one every month from April to October.”
Fields says that organizers are also working to get other cities involved. “Next year we hope to involve all the cities on the Levisa fork. We have already had meetings with the mayors of Elkhorn City, Pikeville, Prestonsburg, Paintsville, and Louisa.”
Fields is currently operating a livery of sorts to help shuttle boaters from put-ins to take-outs. “I am providing a shuttle service at this time for both bicycle and boats. I’m the only one doing it at this time, but their may be more in the future.”
The stretch of water is part of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy Water trail, and has steadily seen increased traffic as part of paddling events such as the one held this weekend. A new ramp for entrance and exit to the river behind Combs Airport is scheduled to open soon.
“We will have the ramp operating at Combs Airport. It’s practically finished now. We are hoping to have other ramps established between here and Pikeville, and here and Louisa and so on.”
Fields says the goal is to have water trail trips begin just below Elkhorn City and travels to Louisa with calm water; some class one and two rapids.
This weekends trip came to end sixteen miles down river at the Paintsville boat ramp where transportation was waiting to return boaters back to Prestonsburg.
Reach Jackson Latta (606) 886-8506