KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — The infamous “Tour de Coal” kayak and canoe river float has taken a hit in registration numbers this year due to COVID-19, however, the event is still taking place “virtually” during the month of June.
Last year, the Coal River Group, who hosts the event annually saw roughly 1,600 people attend the one-day kayaking extravaganza.
The Coal River Group Founder, Bill Currey said, “which makes us, at 1,600, gives us bragging rights to have one of the two largest flat-water kayak events in the nation.”
This year, however, only one-eighth of last year’s 1,600 registered and participated so far.
“But if you think about it, we had 120 people signed up. Last year, we registered over 1,600 people, so it’s a big difference,” Currey said.
In its 16th year, the Tour de Coal was to take place June 20th, but organizers decided to cancel the one-day event and expand the registration through the month of June to meet state health guidelines.
“I think the biggest thing is, as are events start to open up I think people need to realize the river, the water trail is 88 miles long, so they have a lot of opportunities to get out, not just the Tour de Coal, but the entire region of West Virginia,” said Currey.
The Tour de Coal helps fund the Coal River Group’s mission in continuing river clean-up, river restoration and river tourism development programs.
If you would like to help support the Coal River Group’s mission, get out on the water, have fun while practicing social distancing, register here. Registration costs $30.
In total, the three rivers makeup 88 miles of the water trail and it is encouraged to take lots of pictures and share them with #VirtualTDC2020.