Kayak launch opens in downtown Roanoke

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Paddling the Roanoke River downtown is now easier than ever with the opening of a new kayak and canoe launch site made possible by a crowdfunding campaign that raised $80,000.

On Tuesday, community and corporate leaders cut the ribbon at a site that's a joint effort between the Roanoke Outside Foundation, The Bridges development, Carilion Clinic and the city of Roanoke. The launch will be managed by Roanoke City Parks and Recreation and the city's storm water division.

"This project, funded by private donations – no tax dollars – demonstrates the community's support of investment in infrastructure that enhances our outdoor assets," said Pete Eshelman, director of outdoor branding for the Roanoke Regional Partnership and Roanoke Outside Foundation.

There is no cost to use the launch that is located on the back end of a parking lot off Reserve Avenue near the intersection of South Jefferson Street and next to HoneyTree Early Learning Center.

The first takeout location point downstream is the 13th Street Bridge. The Tinker Creek access point in Vinton is the next developed access point.

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