#HomeGrownStories – Chris Jackson
Chris Jackson shares his love of our local rivers through Adventures on the Great Miami. He started his business in 2007 as a canoe and kayak livery. Along with canoeing and kayaking, Chris now offers river activities like river rafting and stand up paddle boarding. He also hosts outdoor events like primitive camping, concerts and food truck festivals. Adventures on the Great Miami plans to hold more community outdoor events and activities in the coming years.
On living in Miami County:
I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. I’ve lived in Miami County for 26 years.
About Adventures on the Great Miami:
We started Adventures on the Great Miami ten years ago. We started out as a canoe and kayak livery with some primitive campsites. We are also an event center. We have seventeen acres of land with 2,200 feet of river frontage. We host everything from Boy Scout groups to team building events for companies.
Our main focus is to get people on the river on rafts, stand up paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks. Folks can park here and we’ll take them up the river so they end their adventure back here. It’s nice to have everyone end up here.
We will be expanding soon with the acquisition fifteen acres next door. That will give us a total of thirty-two acres on the river. My daughters have always wanted a field of sunflowers — five acres of the new land will have sunflowers.
We keep dreaming and working. The busiest season for us is from May to October/November. We have a lot of events in the fall, like our Pumpkin Fest. We’re always adding things to the calendar. This year we’ll have a food truck fest called The Great Grill Out, during 4th of July weekend.
On starting his own outdoor recreational business:
I want to help people experience these great rivers. These are beautiful rivers and a lot of people have no idea they’re out here. The Great Miami River is a very recreational, beautiful river. The Mad River and The Little Miami are also beautiful rivers. They are a bit more challenging than the Great Miami River. The Great Miami is a great river to learn on.
On the community response to Adventures on the Great Miami:
The community response has been overwhelming. They love it. My attendance has been increasing, on average, 30-40% every year. So far it’s been great!
Adventures on the Great Miami’s most popular events:
This year we will be doing the Great Miami River Races and the Treasure Island River Fest. These events are both in Troy, on Saturday, June 24th. The river race and festival will be our biggest event along with Canoegrass. Canoegrass is a nice, outdoor, bluegrass venue. We’re also looking into hosting a country concert. We have a few things we’re working on right now but it’ll take a couple of years to develop.
On his involvement with the local community:
I recently joined the Troy Chamber of Commerce. I’m trying to get more involved with local leadership. We did the Inaugural Mayor’s Float on May 12. We took guests to Twin Arches Park where they canoed or kayaked back to Treasure Island. I do other things with Troy and I work with Tipp City for some of their outdoor venues. We were at the Food Truck Rally in Troy this year. I want to let people know that we offer great outdoor adventures. We’re working on a trip with Whitewater Warehouse in Dayton. We may have a group from there meet up here every now and then. We may also take a trip to West Virginia. We’re working on a lot of exciting stuff.
I also hope to work with the different communities along the river. We could use some nice restroom facilities along the river, something more modern for folks out enjoying the water.
What he loves most about Miami County:
I love the people of Miami County. The folks in Tipp City, Troy, Piqua and the surrounding areas are all very friendly and outgoing. They seem interested in getting involved in outdoor recreational activities as well.
Miami County is a very warm, friendly community. I spend quite a bit of time in Tipp City. I know several local business owners there and I’m getting to know more in Troy. My friend, Ryan King, at Can’t Stop Running in Piqua does our timing for us. He’s great. We also do the River Rampage, Tom Helbig helped organize that last year. Canoegrass is another event that he likes to do. Brian Johnson, our marketing promoter, is working on some projects with The Dayton Canoe Club.
His Miami County recommendations for out of town visitors:
The restaurants in Troy and Tipp City are fantastic! I enjoy the time I’ve spent in the Fort Piqua Plaza and exploring the shops on Main Street. All the towns in our area have a lot to offer.
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