For eight consecutive and most adventuresome years the Loveland Canoe and Kayak Company has been offering fun-filled and exciting trips on the Little Miami River bordering Clermont County.
The owners, Mark and Robyn Bersani, have been residents of the Loveland area for the past 21 years and through those many years they have learned much about the likes and dislikes of travel on the river that was recognized as Ohio’s first designated State Scenic River (Apr. 23, 1969). The Little Miami River has also been recognized as Ohio’s first National Scenic River.
“We love being here on this beautiful, scenic, and historic river,” said Mrs. Bersani. “There is so much beautiful scenery. It is a well-liked recreation. We have so many regulars and big family groups that come out to the river often. We talk to the people all the time and most of them tell us they have a great time. They say it helps them to relax and vacation.”
Mrs. Bersani said they have had visitors take the river trips coming from as far away as Australia, England, and Russia and other very distant countries from all of the continents.
“We work really hard to keep our equipment updated and clean and fresh all the time to keep our customers happy and pleased,” said Mrs. Bersani.
Marcus Armstrong, who is not only an out of Clermont County patron, but also not from Ohio. The resident from Covington, Ky., said, “There is a real family atmosphere here that my friends and family love. We eat on the river shore and we race each other. Everybody is friendly and helpful to us.”
Local residents enjoy the fun of historic and scenic traveling on the Little Miami River, too.
Will Schickel and Alex Llila, Loveland residents and employees of Loveland Canoe and Kayak, agreed that the business is family-oriented and a fun place to be and work.
They made these observations from comments of those who return from their scenic and exciting ventures on the river.
“This was a great experience and getting to do something together with my family was so much fun,” said Doris Bratcher of West Point, Bullitt County, Ky. “We all got together and we carried on the whole time we were out there.”
The Garth Geist family of Loveland decided to take a trip on the Little Miami recently.
Mr. Geist said, “My wife and children and I all agree it was a great family activity. It was our first time to do this and it was great being on the river especially on a hot day like we enjoyed today. We’ll definitely be coming back to enjoy this again.”
From Loveland and Clermont County the Little Miami River heads upstream in a northeasterly direction for more than 100 miles and travels through five counties.
The history of this river is tremendous. It composes some of the western border of Clermont County and Miami Township.
Both the river and the Clermont County township are named in honor of the Miami Indian nation that lived in this area along with the Shawnee, Wyandot, Delaware, and Mingo tribes.
The waterway was used for many years by Native Americans and many of their leaders the likes of Tecumseh, Blue Jacket, Little Turtle, and Cornstalk.
It was used for years by American military forces and most of the first settlers in the area. Simon Kenton, Daniel Boone, and Cornelius Washburn were three of the famous frontiersmen who traveled the river while spending a good amount of time in the county. And it was traveled by escaped slaves as a part of the underground railroad.
Mark Bersani is very proud of the distinction of the Little Miami as both scenic and historic.
“The Little Miami is one of the few nationally designated scenic rivers to run through a suburban area like Loveland. There is a lot of natural beauty.”
He pointed out some of the fish that can be found in the local section of the river including blue heron, grey heron, and small mouth bass and some of the animals like river otters and bald eagles that have been seen nesting in trees bordering the river further north of Clermont County.
Also along the river is the spectacular and famous Chateau LaRoche, the Loveland Castle. It was built by a boy scout leader, Harry Andrews, in 1929, to resemble a European castle. When he died it was discovered the castle was willed to his Boy Scout troop the Knights of the Golden Trail (KOGT). The KOGT continues to maintain the castle, which is open to the public. Contact www.LovelandCastle.com.
Mr. Bersani mentioned what may be unmentionable to some, the legend of The Loveland Frog. This creature(s) has been reported to have been seen next to or in the Little Miami. It is described as being approximately 4-feet tall and weighing somewhere between 50 and 75 pounds. It was first reported being seen in May 1955 and the reports of sightings continue. Reports have been made by local residents, people traveling though the area, and area policemen.
“We have fun with the frog man legend, but I don’t want people to forget this is a family-oriented business that our customers and visitors really seem to enjoy. So many people keep coming back for more fun and adventure,” Bersani said.
The Loveland Canoe and Kayak also supports the Little Miami, Inc. with its preservation, conservation, and educational efforts. For more information on Little Miami, Inc. visit www.Little Miami.com.
For information about the Loveland Canoe and Kayak, its hours of business, its trips, its costs, call (513) 685-4611.