‘Digital guide’ launched for easier and safer exploration of the Ohio River

Explore Appalachia

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – For many who enjoy exploring the Ohio River, it can be difficult tracking your location and traffic conditions. A new digital guide is helping explorers do just that.

The online-based guide, known as the “Digital Guide to the Ohio River,” was developed by the geographic information team at the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments and was launched on June 22, but not until after a long and difficult process.

David Rutter, the senior environmental planner with OIK says that this project has been in the works since 2018.

We’ve been collecting data, pulling in points, finding those campgrounds, finding marinas, determining what the amenities are in each of those points. Where are the access points, where are the boat ramps? We began actually building the guide itself in January of this year.

David Rutter, Senior Environmental Planner with OIK

The guide is now live on the Ohio River Recreation Trail website. The online-based tool is designed to be fairly easy to navigate and can be used on the fly in the water and on land.

For many paddlers, having any sort of navigation is rare, but with the digital guide, not only can they know where they are, but also what kind of traffic is on the water.

We’ve got commercial traffic going up and down it. The Automated Identification System, known as AIS, that all the commercial boats on the river utilize, sends out a signal and it tracks their location.

David Rutter, senior environmental planner with OIK

Area restaurants, boat docks, lodging and other local landmarks can also be found with the click of a button.

For those who prefer to explore on land, the guide also offers safe biking routes along the river.

The guide’s coverage area is limited, traveling east from Fort Knox and ending near Portsmouth, Ohio. Rutter says they are planning on expanding coverage in the future, The dates for the update have not been released yet.

The digital guide can be found here.

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