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Kayak ramp keeps it steady in Thief River Falls

The city of Thief River Falls is saying: Don't rock the boat. And soon, kayakers will have something to help them stay steady and dry.

Pennington County Economic Development Director Christine Anderson says the city is awaiting the arrival of the city's first kayak ramp this week.

She says it's part of a plan to attract more people to an already popular form of river recreation.

"That's exactly it. We're hoping to boost recreation on the river," she said. "People are always looking for something to do whether you live here or you're a visitor coming to town. This will help with that. It's really exciting to see the city get behind the growth of amenities in the community."

Anderson said the Red Lake River Corridor group first applied for a state grant last year to get up to three of the kayak launching docks. When they didn't get the grant, the city of Thief River Falls decided to purchase one to get the project started. Anderson said the group will apply again this year in hopes of getting up to three more of the ramps. The one expected to arrive any day now will be installed on the beach of LaFave Park.

"Kayaks, like canoes, can be tippy," Anderson said. "The main area is like a regular dock, but it has a little ramp and they paddle up to it and the kayak comes up out of the water. It's pretty solid then where you get in."

The ramps, which also can be used with canoes, work well for people with disabilities, she said.

For now, Anderson said people will need to bring their own watercraft to use on the ramp, but the city is working with a local outfitter on a plan to make kayaks available to rent right in LaFave Park.

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