Spotlights a new partner each month.

Partner Spotlight: RRT

This month we wanted to shine the light on a home town favorite, Roads Rivers and Trails. RRT is a well respected locally owned adventure outfitter that started back in 2010. They supply some of the highest quality gear and apparel around and they’re staff are experts in both the gear they sell and the adventures they enjoy (they call themselves gear ninjas!).

RRT is not your everyday retailer. They specialize in all things outdoors. Whether you need equipment for kayaking, camping, hiking, backpacking, climbing or other adventure needs the RRT staff and owners have the experience to help. RRT offers kayak demos, pack shakedowns, gear lists and adventure planning along with seminars and classes year round.

They have a full slate of informational sessions ready to launch in 2016.  Consider joining them for “Kayak Traveling-Simplifying the Breathtaking”, “Wilderness First Responder”, “Hiking the Red River Gorge”, or any of the other event listed on their Facebook page.

Partner Spotlight: REI Co-Op

November is a time of thanksgiving and OACGC has a lot to be thankful for including our amazing partnership with REI.  If you love the outdoors like we do, you’ve probably shopped at the REI Co-Op.  They have one of the best selections of outdoor equipment and apparel anywhere.

REI has been one of our strongest partners since the very beginning.  They regularly donate equipment to our cause, they provide innovative ways to get their customers involved (like the Gear Up & Give program), and their gracious staff is always willing to share expertise with our young adventurers.

One of the things we like most about REI is their relentless dedication to environmental stewardship and support of the outdoor spaces we love so much.  Over the years they have developed and supported a number of critical sustainability programs that have a real impact on green spaces.

REI has built a culture among their employees that includes a set of strong values that align perfectly with the passion for nature and the outdoors that we all share.


One of our favorite members of the REI team is Owen Nyswonger. Owen is a serious outdoor enthusiast and REI Cincinnati’s Outdoor Programs Market Coordinator.  We recently chatted with Owen as he was getting ready for the holiday season.

“We love what we do here and it shows.  Our work in the community is just as important as the work we do in the store.  The bottomline is we want to have an impact and make a real difference.”

And what a difference these guys are making!

Not only do they provide some of the best equipment and outfitting around, but they also give back to the community in ways that are immeasurable.

We need more people like Owen and we encourage everyone to stop by REI and take advantage of their workshops and classes or join them on one of their many volunteer outings in support of our local parks.  Become an active member of the outdoor community and join us as we continue to make things happen together.

Get more info on REI events and activities here.

Partner Spotlight: Loveland Bike Rental

Loveland Bike Rental is a family owned bike rental business conveniently located at Loveland’s Nisbet Park trailhead for the Little Miami Scenic Bike Trail.

We caught up with owner Pete Hills. “We pride ourselves on outstanding customer service and our staff of local high school and college students enjoy making sure each rental outing is the best it can be.  Loveland Bike Rental offers a large variety of bikes for rent.  We offer comfort bikes, trail cruisers, child trailers, tandems, road bikes and recumbents. We are open weekends from March to November and daily from mid-May through August.  Come out and see us to enjoy a crisp fall Sunday, the fresh warmth of a spring Saturday or a perfect summer Tuesday…we’ll be there! Ride just a few miles with your kids or make it a grand adventure by riding to lunch at one of the restaurants located near the trail.”

Bike reservations are generally not required due to the large number of bikes, though they prefer to know ahead if you are bringing a large group so they can be ready for your arrival.  Voted “Best of the North” by Cincy Magazine readers two years running!

Partner Spotlight: Montgomery Cyclery

Since 1965, Montgomery Cyclery is in the business of promoting fun, healthy lifestyle choices to the people of Greater Cincinnati and its surrounding communities.

Manager Matt Richardson says, “Our goal is to serve our communities by providing people of all ages, skill levels and experience with quality bicycles and fitness equipment, as well as related accessories and service. Our commitment to this goal includes staffing our stores with knowledgeable employees who will enthusiastically strive for 100% customer satisfaction. We believe that all customers are different and we add extra value to our products by listening to and addressing individual customer needs and wants. Ultimately, we strive to be the store that is thought of first when people decide to make the most of their leisure time. Whether it is to improve/maintain health or spend quality time with their family and friends, our customers will know.”

Partner Spotlight: Loveland Canoe and Kayak

Since September is our kayaking adventure month, we thought it made sense to feature our good friend Mark Bersani owner of Loveland Canoe and Kayak. We’re all big fans of Mark not only for his great service to the community as the premier kayak and canoe rental facility in the region, but also because of his patience and dedication to helping people of all ages get introduced to the wonderful world of paddling.

Mark actually ‘discovered’ the canoe shop about twelve years ago with his wife while they were training for a marathon. The spark was lit and they decided to make a serious life change. Selling their home and renovating the upstairs of the shop where they currently live. This is truly a dedicated couple who love to make people happy and don’t mind taking their work home with them!

Loveland Canoe and Kayak is a family friendly business that operates May through October so don’t bother stopping by in January. However if you want to see some summer time action, bring a group of friends out in the summer.  LCK has been known to put more than 300 boats in the water in a single day.  That’s 450-600 people, and a lot of paddles.

All Cincinnatians should be well accustomed to paddling by now.  After all, Cincinnati is the paddle capital of the U.S. For those who have yet to discover paddling, we recommend going on one of Loveland Canoe and Kayak’s exciting day trips.

They offer two trips for individuals and groups of any size.The Castle Adventure is the most popular of the two. This 5 mile trip, which lasts 2-4 hours, takes you by the historic Loveland Castle. For the more experienced paddlers there’s the Seven Bridges Excursion. This is a longer trip (4-6 hours) but time flies when you’re having fun.

During both trips you will enjoy the Little Miami River as you paddle through some of the most beautiful, natural surroundings in the Tri-State region. With it’s designation as a State and National Scenic River this section of the Little Miami looks much the way it did 200 years ago with rolling, majestic banks, pristine waters and natural vegetation. Visitors often delight in the viewing of wildlife like the Great Blue Heron and numerous other birds, various species of turtles, frogs and fish that inhabit this special river.

Throughout the month of September Loveland Canoe and Kayaks has generously provided all the kayaks for hundreds of young adventurers as we advance our mission to get urban youth out into nature.  The response was simply overwhelming. The students really connected with nature and the feeling they get while paddling down the river is unlike anything most of them had ever experienced before. Thanks to Loveland Canoe and Kayak, we’re able to change the lives of these young people forever.

Mark’s wife, a grade school teacher, knows full well the effects of NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) on young people and they are doing everything they can to combat this growing issue both at school and through their business.

Mark’s passion for preserving out natural resources and being good stewards is obvious to all who know him. We are grateful to have such a valuable partner and we look forward to getting back on the water next season.

Partner Spotlight – Brighton Center

Brighton Center has greatly benefitted from its relationship with Outdoor Adventure Club over the past three years specifically through our Youth Leadership Development program. Youth Leadership Development is an afterschool program for teens in 6th – 12th grades that provides structured activities and opportunities for youth to acquire and improve their life skills, decision making, and leadership skills. Brighton Center’s overall mission is to create opportunities for individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency through education, employment, and leadership which very much fits into Outdoor Adventure Club’s model of empowering youth through a transformative experience.

Without the discounted rates provided by OAC and their partnerships youth would not be able to experience to the outdoors in such unique ways. The way staff helps youth overcome fears and challenges is great. Outdoor Adventure Club staff is always patient and kind with Brighton Center youth and bring a level of expertise on the outings.  Youth are able to gain confidence that carries over to their daily life, as well as teambuilding, respect of others and nature increased listening and sense of accomplishment and pride. Through Outdoor Adventure Club Brighton Center youth have had the opportunity to go Kayaking, Fishing, Paddling & Picnicking, Hiking, learn about teambuilding through rock-climbing, ride the Little Miami Bike Trail and have a picnic grill out complete with games. Many of the youth Brighton Center serves would never have these opportunities otherwise.

On a recent Kayaking trip over the summer two youth who initially feared the trip and struggled at first were able to overcome their fears with the help of Outdoor Adventure Club staff and not only enjoy the trip but also left with the confidence to overcome future challenges or fears.

As one youth put it: “The teambuilding activities and ropes course made us all work together, even though we may not all get along all the time, it showed we can listen to each other and complete it together.”

Thank you Outdoor Adventure Club! Because of your dedication, over 50 Brighton Center youth have experienced amazing outdoor adventures.