The Friends of the Winooski River, a non-profit dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Winooski River and its tributaries, will host the inaugural Winooski Pedal and Paddle Sunday, July 23. A combination cycling and paddling event, its mission is to raise awareness about the need for continued protection of local waterways and natural areas. Partnering the community event with the Friends of the Winooski River are the Winooski Valley Park District and the City of Winooski. All funds raised support restoration and protection efforts in the entire Winooski River watershed, which drains approximately 1,080 square miles in central Vermont, encompassing all of Washington County, about half of Chittenden County, and portions of Lamoille and Orange Counties.
According to Larry Montague, outreach coordinator for Friends of the Winooski River, it is a family-friendly fundraiser where participants will travel through some of the most scenic areas of the valley on the seven-mile loop course connecting the cities of Burlington and Winooski. He adds, “Whether you’re looking for a workout or a laid-back adventure for you and the kids, this community event will serve as a fun Sunday outing. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy games at the Ethan Allen Homestead after you finish the course.”
Boat drop-off in Winooski will happen from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. sharp. After leaving their canoe or kayak at the launch site in Winooski, participants will drive to the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington for the start of the pedal portion of the event. Bikes will depart from the Homestead to Winooski between 10:15 and 11 a.m. The approximately four-mile bike ride is predominantly on dirt paths and roads along the river through the Intervale to Winooski proper.
For more information, including registration fees and how to volunteer, visit www.winooskirec.com or call 802-777-1621. The Friends of the Winooski River’s event page for the Pedal and Paddle is http://www.winooskiriver.org/winooski-pedal-and-paddle.php.