Mount Holly considers adding kayak launches to make town accessible by creek
A Burlington County town is looking at ways to make its main street more accessible by kayak.
John Anderson is the director of Rancocas Pathways. He has been leading kayakers through the Rancocas Creek for years. But he says that a link between Mount Holly’s downtown and the creek that runs through it is what is missing.
“If you put a ramp in, people have a place to access the resource, which means I get more use out of it and that’s what is needed here,” he says.
The township is now looking to add kayak launches in town – two in the parks and one that would connect the creek to the businesses on High Street.
"What happens is a lot of people come in to town and they see the buildings and they can see the back of the businesses and they want to buy things and there's nowhere for them to get out,” says Brian Parker, chef and manager at The Bistro at Vincent’s.
Business owners along the creek say that a launch would have a big impact by allowing kayakers to stop in town to shop, dine and drink.
"For businesses, it's a great opportunity to reach people who are only going to come through the town recreationally. We have a lot of bikers and we have a lot of walkers because it's a historic town,” Parker says. “But we also have a lot of kayakers and the ones that aren't staying to purchase things because there's nowhere for them, like I said, to have an easy access to get in and out."
“Eighty-percent of the people who go kayaking here, they will stop in town,” says Anderson. “The recreational kayakers, they will come to some of the activities that the businesses are having.”
Mount Holly officials say that they are currently going through the process with the state to add the launches. They say that their plan is to put two of the three launches to start.
“I hope it happens like two years ago,” Parks says.
Currently kayakers are allowed to access the creek from certain points in the township, but avid kayakers says these new launches will also make it more accessible for those with disabilities.