Pick the Park
Inside the Outdoors, April 3
, 2015

Attention all kayakers. There is the second annual Three Paddles Loyalhanna Sojourn planned for Saturday, May 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to begin at Latrobe Cardinal Park. The trip will take one downstream to eventually end in the Borough of New Alexandria, the Latrobe United Parks and Recreation announced recently.

This will give a chance for those who just may have received a gift of such a flotation device to join the group of enthusiasts and venture down clear mountain waters along unknown paths never seen from avenues of vehicular travel.

For those who enter Latrobe Cardinal Park on this date, there will be music and food waiting in this festive event. Participants should arrive at 10 a.m. to sign in and drop off their boats. One need not worry how to get back to Latrobe after arriving in New Alexandria. A bus will shuttle one back to the place of origin where one put in his boat.

Snacks will be provided along with safety advice and other information. People will launch between noon and 1 p.m.

All participants must register. Registrations are limited to 100 registrants. To do so, one can email the LUPR at jeannelpr@msn.com or contact it by calling 724.537.4331. One will need to fill out a registration form, so he may want to visit its offices in the Latrobe Administration Building on second floor. The building is located at the corner of Main and Jefferson Streets.

A limited amount of kayaks that were available for rental have already been taken, so one will have to provide his own kayak if he wishes to make the trip. In the event of high water, the paddle would take place June 6.

See www.latroberecreation.org for more details.


The Pennsylvania Fish and boat Commission (PFBC) is conducting a sweepstakes, no less, whereby entrants are asked to vote daily for the three parks they feel offer the best experience based on family amenities, location and the likeliness to catch a fish or enjoy a day on the water. Some pretty significant prizes will be awarded.

The contest runs through April 12.

One can cast a vote in what the PFBC calls the 2015 America’s Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes, sponsored by the Recreation Boating and Fishing Foundation’s (RBFT) Take Me Fishing campaign. The sweepstakes features several parks in Pennsylvania and aims to include awareness of the great family-friendly parks across the country, and get more families out on the water fishing or boating.

The Sweepstakes offers 276 pre-selected parks, including seven from our state, the closest being Keystone State Park in New Alexandria. The other six are Lackawanna State Park, Lackawanna County, Little Buffalo State Park, Perry County, Moraine State Park, Butler County, Nockamixon State Park, Mucks county, Presque Isle state Park, Erie County and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, Philadelphia and Delaware Counties.

“We know that Pennsylvania provides fantastic fishing and boating opportunities for families,” said John Arway, executive director of the PFBC. “Now it’s time to share that information with outdoor enthusiasts across the country and encourage them to vacation at our parks. Anglers and boaters can do this by casting a vote in favor of the Pennsylvania parks.”

Upon completion of the contest, votes will be tallied and those parks with the most votes will be placed on a list of 2015 America’s top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Sports, which the RBFF will use to entice families and newcomers to visit during National Fishing and Boating Week in June, as well as through the summer.

Featured as some of the prizes which include a chance to win a weekly prize: a Get Started Fishing Kit, including two South Bend Spinning combos, an Eagle Claw Tackle Kit, as well as a Take Me Fishing hat, tumbler, backpack and a luggage tag. One lucky grand prize winner will receive his own memory-making experience from Take Me Fishing: a 3-night, 4-day stay for 4 at the Walt Disney World Resort including a Guided Fishing Excursion.

Full prize information can be found in the Official Rules. To learn more about the Sweepstakes and to vote for one’s favorite park, visit America’s top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes.

Take Me Fishing plays a critical role in introducing families and newcomers to boating and fishing, which has helped generate $650 million distributed to the states for aquatic conservation efforts in 2014. The campaign increases awareness of the need to protect, conserve and restore the nation’s aquatic resources by encouraging participating in recreational boating and fishing.


Come on out to the Latrobe Indoor Vendor Market, Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the American Legion Post 515, 1811 Ligonier St., Latrobe. We can talk all about the great outdoors. I’ll also be selling fishing items!

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.