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Call For Photos Of Access Ramps

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by mccloud, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. mccloud

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac In Memoriam

    Last week a few of us local paddlers talked with some park service folks who are intending to construct an access ramp to the Monocacy River near Frederick, MD. All of us have used ramps at various times and in various places. Some of these ramps are good, convenient, easy to use, and others are not. Those of us who paddle restored wooden canoes may have somewhat different requirements to make a ramp good for us, as opposed to those fine folk who paddle tupperware. The park guy was surprised when I said I would, and have, paddled a wooden canoe on the Monocacy, which is only flowing water with an occasional rock or gravel bar. It occurred to me that a photo album of access ramps that are good, or bad, that could be shown to these folks who are responsible for construction of new ramps might be useful. So if you have such photos in your collection, please forward them to me, with a few notes about what you like or don't about them. I'll make the collection available to anybody who needs to talk to parks, or others who control our access to paddling places. Tom McCloud tommccld@gmail
  2. Rob Stevens

    Rob Stevens Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Interesting idea, and great topic for discussion -structures that promote damage-minimizing access to the water. It will be particularly helpful to see photos, and learn about design, materials & surface treatments

    Before several Annual Assemblies, the Assembly Committee had asked that the waterfront dock and canoe launching area be cleaned up, particularly of goose-shit, and drift wood. There were large logs with broken branch stubs perfect for holing canoes embedded in the sand at the dock. And large, sharp edged rocks in the water.

    The WCHA Board initiated a discussion several years ago with Paul Smith's College about building a canoe launch ramp with assist devices to aid the entry into canoes of people who have mobility-restricting conditions of whatever sort. Think of, for instance, non-slip vertical poles to hand on to when getting into a canoe. Another possibility would be a swing crane such as those used to help handicapped people get into swimming pools.

    The WCHA offered to pay for a launch ramp if PSC would oversee it's construction and maintenance (probably removing it from the water annually before freeze up). My conception of this was a long (20-30ft) gently sloping ramp (10ft+ wide) along the shore below the 3ft high timber retaining wall. This would be covered in a relatively soft, non-skid, non-marking surface -perhaps indoor/outdoor carpet (or the modern equivalent).

    In the end, PSC built and paid for a low to the water dock perpendicular to the shoreline extending out from the existing "launch ramp" which was a breach in the retaining wall with no improvements to the sloped surface of soil and sand. Well, I thought, it's better than nothing, though it does prevent trailer launches of some fine sailing canoes. (Water access are often multi-purpose ie. canoes and trailered boats, whether powered or sail)
    Does anyone have a photo of the launch area at Paul Smith's?
  3. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Here's a link to an accessible launch ramp:
    These were installed at a couple of river launches west of me (2 hour drive), and from what I've heard, have been very well received.

    I should be able to get pictures of good and bad launch sites this week.
  4. MGC

    MGC Scrapmaker

    Always good for a laugh..the launch at Mud Pond. The canoe just sort of bonds to the muck.
    Yes, that really is the launch.

    Attached Files:

  5. Greg Nolan

    Greg Nolan enthusiast

    Here are some pictures of the launch/landing facilities at Paul Smiths --

    Jim and Jean Clearwater have just launched their canoe in 2015 from the grass "ramp" -- the breach in the retaining wall Rob mentions above -- not much room for other canoes:
    ss IMG_0086.JPG

    I'm retrieving my canoe at the dock next to the "ramp" -- the dock is a bit too high above the water, making getting in and out of a canoe awkward and retrieval difficult -- I would not do this with a canoe that lacked a keel -- you can see the steep and slippery grass "ramp" in the second picture:
    ss IMG_0214.JPG
    ss IMG_0218.JPG

    And here is the newer dock in the "ramp" area that Rob mentions, next to the older, existing dock -- lower to the water, making getting in and out of a canoe much easier, but not really improving the ability to easily launch or retrieve a canoe:
    ss IMG_1584.JPG
    ss cr IMG_0301.JPG
  6. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

  7. This might be adaptable to canoes . . . and looks like a simple, cheap addition to any dock:

    surely the outboard leg could be covered to reduce any damage possibility.
  8. OP

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac In Memoriam

    KEEP 'EM COMING! Paul, I see those ramps as being useful at a lake where the water level does not vary much, but I have trouble seeing them as applicable to a river launch site where the water level goes up/down by 10 feet several times each year. I suspect the first block of ice going downriver in March flood, or large log, will take out the ramp and railings. Similar problems if it were at a location affected by tides. Still, Parks Service people should see these things. And these folks also have to consider handicapped accessibility in building ramps. Have you placed a wood/canvas canoe on those rollers and slid it into the water? TM....
  9. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Those ramps are pulled out for the winter, and put back in after the spring floods subside. I think the docks they're attached to float, so changes in river level don't impact them.

    No, I haven't used them at all... they're located about 2 hours' drive west of me, a direction I seldom go... and when I do, I stop at the river that has current!
  10. pklonowski

    pklonowski Unrepentant Canoeist

    Didn't put 2 & 2 together, but... somehow the not quite foot of snow last weekend, coupled with air temperatures well above freezing and two inches of rain, and my river is in flood. I won't be able to get any canoe launch pictures until the river settles down. Pictures of flooded parking lots probably won't cut it...
  11. OP

    mccloud "Tiger Rag" back on the tidal Potomac In Memoriam

    Attached photos are of an access to Antietam Creek at Kiwanis Park in Hagerstown, MD. AS you see there is parking on an asphalt lot, a smooth path of 100 feet or so from there to the water which is very gently sloped, no steps or other obstructions to trip over. A cart, or a wheelchair could be utilized. The path is wide enough so that people can come and go simultaneously. The path is constructed of three different materials, asphalt, plastic wood where it bridges a swampy area, and close to the water, interlocking concrete blocks with grass growing up thru. After the heavy rains of this summer, there is a lot of mud near the water, but since this ramp has survived the floods we've had here, it speaks well of the design and construction. Launching, or take-out, from the end of the ramp is single-file. Though the current is mild, one is not launching into an eddy. There is very limited space near the end of the ramp to leave canoes. There is a small park and walking paths nearby. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this ramp a 7 or 8. Whoever designed it got a lot right. Please continue to post pictures of both very good and very bad access ramps you have used. Tom McCloud STH72208.JPG STH72211.JPG STH72212.JPG STH72213.JPG

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