10th Anniversary Great Ohio River Paddle

A New Dam Experience...MARKLAND

September 14 - 15, 2013




Trip Details


Come join us for a weekend on the River as we lock through Markland!

Register early for discount (see details below)! 

The Great Ohio River Paddle 2013 (GORP 2013) is a 2-day event to raise money to protect and improve the water quality in the watershed. 

Paddlers will stop each day at different sites.  Along the way, naturalists, biologists, scientists, and local historians will share their knowledge and experiences. Many have intimate knowledge and up-to-date information about their areas of expertise. Come explore, learn, and have fun! 

How do like your GORP?



Paddlers will be able to select from 2 different paddling "pods" for a more personal experience:

  • EcoPod  -- Our most popular Pod. Paddlers learn about the ecology of the Ohio River and its watershed from ORF educators as they paddle on the main stem of the Ohio River and one or two beautiful tributaries.
  • AdventurePod  – Paddlers will have a similar ecologically informative experience as the EcoPod paddlers, however, they will explore more tributaries and paddle up to 5 additional miles.

                                                                               Paddlers on a tributary trip.

You select a Pod when you register.  You can let us know on Saturday or Sunday morning if you want to change to a different Pod -- changes will be accommodated, if Pod space is available.

All Paddlers will combine on Sunday to paddle through the Markland Locks and then on to Ghent, KY.

The Paddle locations and approxinate day mileage are:

  • Saturday, September 14th from Patriot, Indiana (10 miles)
  • Sunday, September 15th from Warsaw, KY through the Markland Locks then on to Ghent, KY (10 river miles)

----  Ohio River miles total ----

Paddlers in Meldahl Lock - GORP 2011


GORP is a fundraising event to help support efforts to restore and protect water quality.  An important way you can help make this extraordinary event even more exciting (and helping ORF raise these important funds) is by letting friends, family, and local businesses support our efforts. You can do this by participating in the fundraising feature of the event and earn fabulous prizes!!!.

It's very easy and we have 3 ways you can raise funds.  As one option, we even have a relationship with a firm (www.firstgiving.com) where you can create you own personal fundraising page!! (It only takes 5 minutes!) Please visit our Paddle-A-Thon page for more information and to view the paddler premiums.

Fee includes: Sumptuously delicious meals, camp-site fees and arrangements, insights from naturalists and historians, safety paddlers/guides, paddler shuttle, drinking water, snacks, t-shirt, and all the logistical details handled by GORP. Fee also includes $30 tax-deductible donation to ORF.

REGISTER By July 15: $110

REGISTER July 16 to September 6: $150


PLEASE  - consider fundraising above the registration fee as we are offering really great prizes and it means more money to support our work!

Camping and Amenities

GORP arranges all camping and amenities for paddlers. The campsite location is the Warsaw park at the Warsaw Public Landing.  Amenities at the campground include restrooms, hand-washing stations, shelters, trash receptacles, and outdoor showers.  After arriving at Warsaw on Saturday, there will be time for each paddler to relax and set up their tent prior to dinner.


Meals will be provided for you, served buffet-style, throughout the trip; lunch and dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and lunch on Sunday, with a variety of delicious items to choose from.  There will be both meat and vegetarian options (must be requested prior to trip).  Snack foods will be available for on and off-river snacking both days.

A Typical Day (view prior GORP photos)

Paddlers can expect to cover an average of 2-3 miles per hour paddling down the river.  Expect to paddle 4-5 hours on Saturday and 4-5 hours on Sunday.  A lunch break will be held around midday. Side trips into marshes or tributaries are also possibilities. 

At Warsaw, there will be time to enjoy any Ohio River exhibits, receive an update on the state of conservation in the watershed and a briefing of ORF activities, enjoy the river or the host community, call home, or just relax.  In the evening there will be opportunities to talk about the day, learn about our fellow paddlers and chat about our experience with any interested folks.

Sunday will begin with breakfast, break camp, pack boats, and daily safety briefing.  Paddlers will leave Warsaw (some may partake in an earlier optional tributary trip) and proceed on their journey to and through the Markland Locks...then on to Ghent, KY.  There may be optional tributary trips on along the way!


After a long day on the river, nothing feels better than a massage. Licensed massage therapists will be available Saturday afternoon and evening to soothe those aching muscles! They charge for massage, generally $10 for 10 minutes.

Prior Experience and Other Important Information

Paddlers must have some prior paddling experience on moving water (i.e., not beginners) within the last 2 years and camping experience.  (If you want, to gain some experience before GORP you can take a skills course at a Canoe & Kayak School like that run by the Sierra Club - Miami Group.) Commercial ships and tug and barge combinations will be sharing the river with us, along with numerous large pleasure craft. We will avoid the shipping channel at all times, except for scheduled channel crossings. You should be able to handle modest waves and wakes (less than two feet), be able to paddle into a strong head wind for the day and be able to perform self and assisted rescues as the victim or the rescuer (we'll teach you, if necessary).  

Requirements for Participants 17 and under

Minors need to paddle with an adult in their boat, have the ability to swim, and have wet rescue training or experience.  Any minor that can't paddle needs to have 2 adults in their boat. 

If you have questions about any requirements, give us a call (or e-mail) and we will be happy to discuss with you about whether or not your experience is adequate or a class is appropriate. 


Paddling boats of the recommended minimum lengths will make it easier for you to paddle the long distances and help keep the group together.  Boats lengths recommended: at least 9 feet long for single or two-person kayaks, and at least 14 feet long for canoes. All paddlers are expected to carry and provide their own safety gear (including Coast Guard approved PFD).  All canoes must have 2 paddlers.  You must provide your own kayak or canoe and paddling and camping gear (including tent). NO INFLATABLE BOATS.  A suggested list of items can be found on the Gear Checklist.

No Pets

Unfortunately, no cats, dogs, or other pets allowed on GORP.  Sorry.

Baggage Shuttle 

Your camping baggage will be loaded onto a truck when you arrive, then shuttled and unloaded at Warsaw. On Sunday baggage will be shuttled to the Ghent take-out for pick up by you at the end of the day. Baggage that is to be shuttled needs to be no more than 2 reasonably sized duffle bag per person, each weighing 20 pounds or less. You should pack a separate waterproof bag to take with you on the river to hold extra clothes, jacket, sunscreen, etc. For ideas on what to pack see the Equipment Checklist.

Site Locations and Driving Directions

  • Saturday put-in: Patriot boat ramp (Patriot, IN): The Patriot Ramp and Park are on Route 156, about 2200 feet north of 1st Street in Patriot. It is on Goose Creek where Goose Creek flows into the Ohio River. The coordinates are 38.8438, -84.8195.
  • Sunday take-out: Ghent, KY Public Landing (Ghent, KY): Fishing Street ramp, Ghent, KY. The ramp is on Fishing Street about 1-2 blocks off US Route 42 (Main Street) in Ghent, KY. The coordinates are  38.738188°, -85.063697°.

Transportation, Parking, and Shuttle Options

You can either arrange your own transportation to be dropped-off at the put-in and picked-up at the take-out (Vevay). Or you can park a vehicle at both locations. If needed, a bus shuttle will be available to transport paddlers back to retrieve their vehicles. We will watch over your gear and boat until you return with your vehicle. If this option is necessary, a transportation request should be made at the time of registration to aid our planning efforts.

While we believe that the parking at these locations is relatively safe, we cannot guarantee the security of your vehicle. Please do not plan to leave any valuables in your car.


Registered GORP paddler check-in begins at 7:30am.  Boats will begin launching around 9am after safety talk.

Pre-trip Lodging

Before GORP begins on September 14th, you might want to get there the day before.  Maybe it's a long drive.  Maybe you want to sample the local town ambience.  If you try at an unauthorized location to camp the police may find different overnight accommodations for you. (We'll do some research and let paddlers know of options.)