TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Greater Topeka Partnership is getting people back on the Kaw this weekend. The group is hosting “Capital Paddle”, a 10-mile guided tour of the Kansas River on Saturday.
The paddle tour will start at the Kansas River weir and end at the Seward Boat ramp east of K-4. On this stretch, people will see the remains of the ATSF collapsed bridge from the historic 1951 flood.
Kayaker and organizer Katy Nelson said they hope to increase interest in the Kansas River.
“We’re going to paddle down. We’re going to stop at some sand bars. There’s always some good treasures to find on sand bars and we’re just going to try to have a good day,” Nelson said. “We’re going to get people out on the water. Hopefully, people make some new friends. We want people to see what we’re doing on the river.”
This comes as the city of Topeka is working to make the Kansas River safer. In April, the city finished phase one of a $5 million redesign of the Kansas River weir. The new design makes the bank more inviting to the community and the weir safer for people to cross.
Riverfront Authority Chairman Greg Schwerdt said they are hoping to make the Kansas River a feature in downtown Topeka.
“Hopefully we’ll see some new things happening. There are a lot of cities around the country that have rivers that are very active in their downtown area,” Schwerdt said. “We’re one of the few capital cities left that have a river that has not developed the river.”
GTP teamed up with Dirty Girl Adventures, Friends of the Kaw, and the Riverfront Advisory Council to put on this year’s Capital Paddle event.