OAK HARBOR — The Ottawa County Fairgrounds Kayak Launch officially became a part of the The Portage River Water Trail recently, funded by a $10,000 grant from the Park District of Ottawa County Parks and Trails Improvement Grant Program.
The Portage River Water Trail was designated in July 2022 through a collaboration of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG), and the Portage River Basin Council.
A water trail is a series of safe and convenient access points to a river, with a map, parking and educational signage. A trail makes access to the water easier and encourages kayaking and canoeing. The 36-mile trail winds through Ottawa, Wood and Sandusky Counties and is the 17th official water trail in the State of Ohio.
The new kayak launch site provides a critical access point for the Portage River Water Trail, creating a stop for boaters about five miles from the Village of Oak Harbor and five miles to the Portage River State Wildlife Area. The City of Port Clinton is an additional two miles from the State Wildlife Area.
Portage River access is on the southeast corner of the fairgrounds, adjacent to the fairgrounds’ horse racing track. The Ottawa County Fairgrounds is located at 7870 W. State Route 163 in Oak Harbor. Gravel parking is located next to the launch site. The site is in a natural cove on the river protecting it from the main channel and strong currents, giving users more control of their watercraft.