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Mindy Trujillo


Kayaking on the Little Miami River

Paddlefest was last weekend on the Ohio River and the turnout was huge!  If you saw any pictures and you’re curious about kayaking, there are some easy ways to get started!  No equipment needed.  Or, if you’re trying to make the most of summer before the kids go back to school, you might be looking for some end of summer adventure and family time!  And, it’s hot in August so why not get out on the water to stay cool?

I’m not a complete novice when it comes to kayaking; I’ve kayaked a few times, but not too much locally. I’ve been wanting to kayak more, but wasn’t sure how to get started.  It was actually some students who pointed me to Scenic River Canoe Excursions where I was fortunate enough to try a 6-mile excursion on the Little Miami River.  Scenic River Canoe Excursions makes it so easy!  They provide the kayak (single or tandem), life jacket, and transportation to the drop off location.  If you’d rather try canoeing or tubing, those are provided as well.  Personally, I find kayaking more stable than canoeing.  Granted, I’ve only canoed twice , but both times I flipped our canoe and we all ended up swimming.  I think I have balance issues!  🙂 And, if you should tip, a kayak is so much easier to climb back into than a canoe!  Trust me!  And if I can get back in, you can get back in!  But that won’t happen.  At Scenic River, the kayaks are sit-on-top kayaks which I prefer.

Scenic River provides three trip options:

  1. Terrell’s Short Trip- 2 miles:  super relaxed, about 45-60 minutes, easy (great for beginners)
  2. Fletcher’s Mid Trip- 6 miles:  a bit more challenging, about 2-3 hours, good exercise and plenty of places to pull over and swim if you’d like
  3. Isabella’s Long Trip- 10 miles: reservations required, about 4-6 hours, leaves in the morning (I think I want a little more experience before trying this one)

Remember, with all of these, you’re going downstream so you can work as hard or as little as you’d like!  And, unless you’re doing the 10 mile trip, the bus loads up every 15 minutes or so which is perfect timing.  

While we were kayaking, we saw a group of friends and family tubing down the river, each holding the same rope.  It was sweet; everyone was laughing, talking, and enjoying some fun in the sun without having to do any paddling.  If you’d like to tube, try the 2-mile option at Scenic River.  Whatever option you chose, there’s plenty of wildlife, little rapids, and beach areas for resting, swimming, and rope swinging.  I got giddy excited when we hit each of the little rapids; I’m sure these don’t technically count as rapids, but it felt like I was a true adventure seeker while never being in any real danger.

I know that there are plenty of places to kayak in and around Cincinnati; some on the Little Miami and some on local lakes and parks.  You can check out the following: Lake Isabella, Miami Whitewater Forest (they have hydro bikes), Sharon Woods, and Winton Woods.  Most of these Hamilton County Parks listed above have kayaks, paddle boats, stand up paddle boards, and more.

There are places to rent and use kayaks in many areas of the city.  This is something everyone can do- it doesn’t matter if you’ve never been kayaking or you’re a pro.  And I can’t wait to go again with Scenic River! I’m trying to make those summer days count. As I’ve said many times, I truly believe experiences matter more than things!  This is a perfect experience to share with family and friends.

GO THERE (Scenic River Canoe Excursions)!  TRY THAT (Kayaking)!


Art on Vine

Two of my favorite events that truly celebrate this city that I love so much are City Flea and Art on Vine.  Both of these markets, held outdoors during the summer, feature the best of our city’s local artisans.  I wrote about City Flea awhile ago (link here), but I haven’t written about Art on Vine yet.  Time to fix that!  While City Flea is a curated urban flea market (lots of vintage goods and modern finds), Art on Vine focuses more on handmade items from local artisans.  It’s a monthly art show; it’s a way to meet and support Cincinnati artisans in a great location. 

Art on Vine at Fountain Square.

Art on Vine started in a parking lot on Vine Street in OTR with about 8 artists.  Since then, it has grown to feature over 70 local artists in spaces much bigger than a parking lot.  If you are at all about supporting small businesses, buying local, giving great gifts, and finding new treasures, this a place you have to check out.  Honestly, the talent in this city never ceases to amaze me.

Incredible artwork.

Be sure to follow Art on Vine on Facebook.

The location of Art on Vine changes throughout the year.  You can find out the schedule on their website.  I’ve attended at Fountain Square in the summer and Rhinegeist Brewery in the winter.  Both are unique!  You can find anything from paintings to jewelry to coasters to handbags to pottery (and so much more).  In addition to discovering new treasures, you can also grab some grub whether it be sold in a booth or a food truck. And, to make yourself feel even better about your purchases, Art on Vine gives to different (local) nonprofits each month. I love that!


Stop by Art on Vine this Sunday, August 5th from 12-6 at Fountain Square.  If you worry about finding a parking spot downtown, there are several garages close by.  In fact, I’ve always landed a spot in the garage directly underneath Fountain Square.  If you feel like taking a stroll after shopping, check out The Booksellers on Fountain Square for books, coffee, journals, and more.  And of course, there’s no shortage of great restaurants in that area as well!  Basically, I need you to open your calendars now and add Art on Vine to this weekend’s itinerary!

GO THERE (Art on Vine)!  TRY THAT (buying some locally handcrafted goods)!