RiverScape River Run

Making the Great Miami River more accessible to the entire community

RiverScape RiverRun

RiverScape River Run Logo

After a successful community fundraising effort and completing permitting, construction of River Run at RiverScape MetroPark is underway. The in-river recreation improvement project will increase accessibility to the river and add vibrancy to the downtown area. Construction was kicked off on July 8, 2015. The work to transform the low dam between Interstate 75 and Monument Avenue is nearly complete. RiverScape River Run has eliminated the hazards associated with the low dam and created a passage for recreational paddlers and a whitewater play chute for kayakers. Work is nearing completion on the second in-river structure for RiverScape River Run in downtown Dayton. It includes two in-river features with smooth-water and whitewater passageways spanning the Great Miami River. The first in-river structure at RiverScape River Run was completed in 2016 and already has become a regional recreation destination. A grand opening for RiverScape River Run will be held in spring.

What is RiverScape River Run?

A dangerous low dam in the Great Miami River located near the Dayton Art Institute was removed and two structures that span the river have been built, each with two passageways: one smooth-water passageway for novice paddlers and one whitewater play feature for more experienced paddlers. The project also will allow people to fish, sunbathe and enjoy the river downtown in new ways.

The Mad River Run in Eastwood MetroPark is a smaller version of what people can expect at RiverScape River Run.

Why is RiverScape River Run important?

RiverScape River Run is a critical project for our community and will make our downtown riverfront more accessible for the entire community. The project will create a long list of benefits for downtown Dayton and the region, including:

  • A safer river.
  • Improved water quality and aquatic habitat.
  • A place where everyone can connect with the river.
  • A destination for active outdoor recreation.
  • A dynamic downtown scene for residents, businesses and visitors.
  • A regional recreation destination.

RiverScape River Run will open the downtown river to a beautiful seven-mile paddle from Eastwood MetroPark on the Mad River, through downtown to the Carillon Historical Park and University of Dayton area.

River Run Map
View full-size map

River Run also will attract experienced “play boat” kayakers who will turn cartwheels, flips and rolls in the wave created by the drop. These kayakers attract numerous spectators to the shore to watch them, creating a vibrant scene along our downtown riverfront and bikeway.

The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan is a multipronged economic development initiative and strategic blueprint for Dayton’s center city launched in May 2010. Greater Downtown is one of two regional centers of economic activity for the Dayton area, with approximately $5 billion a year in regional economic impact. A vibrant, thriving center city is crucial to the prosperity of the City of Dayton and the Dayton region. The Greater Downtown Dayton Plan calls for building on downtown’s strengths to create the type of vibrant, bustling city increasingly in demand today. RiverScape River Run is an important part of that.

How was RiverScape River Run funded?

The greater Dayton community raised $4 million to fund this project, identified as a high-priority project in the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan. The James M. Cox Foundation issued a $1 million challenge grant for the River Run project; plan leaders raised $3.8 million through corporate and foundation support; and the remaining funds were raised through a public campaign. Click here for a list of major donors.

Read River Run Funding Announcement >>

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