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Chamber’s RiverFest returns for 25th year this August


CASTORLAND — Love to paddle but not much of a racer?

Lewis County Chamber of Commerce’s 25th annual RiverFest will return Saturday, Aug. 2, providing a leisure-filled day on the Black River for paddlers.

“People can drop their cars off in Carthage and ride the free shuttle to Castorland. The shuttle bus runs til around 10 a.m.,” said chamber director Anne Merrill.

This year, the course will leave from the Castorland boat launch off State Route 410 and end at the West Carthage boat launch on South Main Street. The course changes each summer. The entire trip is expected to run 9.8 miles, with a pit stop at the Carthage Rod and Gun Club, 4500 Cold Springs Park Road. Check-in is from 8 to 10 a.m. There will be an assisted canoe and kayak launch. Registration will be available the day of the event, but paddlers are encouraged to register beforehand for planning purposes. The event is expected to go until 3 p.m.

Registration is $5 per person and covers the cost of insurance. All participants are asked to sign a LCCC release of liability form and an American Canoe Association insurance form.

Food will be available for sale at the mid-point, Carthage Rod and Gun Club.

“This is not a race,” Merrill stressed, “This is a family fun paddle.”

Event organizers will be on the lookout for water levels in the weeks leading up to the event and will notify participants of any low spots prior to the event.

T-shirts are available for purchase for $10 prior to July 25 and $15 the day of the event.

Additionally, there will be a river trivia test sponsored by the Lewis County Soil and Water Conservation District along the course. Participants will look for clues with the chance to win a county-themed gift basket.

“There will be trivia questions throughout the route, set out on buoys. Participants will have cards to fill out as they go along. It’s multiple choice with questions on Black River watershed,” said Merrill.

Rental equipment will be available through Adirondack Exposure. Anyone interested in renting a canoe or kayak may call the chamber office. Rental prices vary from $20 to $26 for half the day; $28 to $38 for full-day.

Registration forms are available at For additional information, call 376-2213 or email chamber administrative assistant Stacie L. Papineau at

Local museums and events will be ongoing throughout the day, including Lowville Farmers Market at the Lewis County Fairgrounds on Bostwick Street, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Railroad Society of Northern New York Museum on Main Street, Croghan, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Lewis County Historical Society, 7552 S. State St., Lowville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Constable Hall, 5909 John St., Constableville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; American Maple Museum on Main Street, Croghan, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Mennonite Heritage Farm, 8778 Erie Canal Road, Croghan, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Town of Diana Historical Museum, 2 Depot St., Harrisville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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