The Coal River Group hosts the annual Coal River TOUR DE COAL event in June of each year.
The boat float starts at Meadowood Park in Tornado, WV around 9:00am. The participants float eleven miles down the Coal River to St. Albans and take out at the Gateway Shopping Center in Saint Albans.
“It’s a hoot!” says CRG volunteer Bob Miller, “I have been involved in every one of the Tours and watched the ever growing number of boaters have a great time.” The float was created by the Coal River Group to bring people back to the rivers. “We are seeing many new people every year” says Bill Currey, President of the non-profit group.
Special events during the day include a variety of displays located at the finish line at Gateway shopping center. Displays promoting and illustrating how the group works to clean up the river are standard. Vendors offer food, and sporting goods retailers are on hand to show off the latest in kayaks and sporting gear.
The organizers have obtained permission from the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission to allow overnight campers to use Meadowood Park on the night preceding the event. “We can now offer visitors from out of town a place to camp prior to the float” says Currey. “We have had a number of requests from people regarding camping in the area the night before the event.”
We usually have 25 to 30 volunteers, including the local Tornado Volunteer Fire Department and the St. Albans Fire and Police Departments. Residents living along the eleven mile water route are invited to come out and cheer on the floaters. “Last year we had a number of families that offered water, fruit and encouragement to the boaters” says Currey.
Detailed information about the Tour de Coal and the Coal River Group can found on the web site www.coalrivergroup.com
Last Updated: 12/03/2012