In the 1960s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed construction of the Kinzua Dam to provide critical flood control capabilities on the Allegheny River. The structure has worked flawlessly in this capacity.
A secondary benefit, most likely not considered in the design phase, which was not capitalized upon until 2000, is the ability to control the water conditions on the river below the dam. This willingness to control the river level, coupled with the varied flows and depths of the river between the dam and the City of Warren has created an optimal venue for canoe and kayak racing in Warren County.
Beginning in 2000, the Warren Chamber partnered with the Pennsylvania Association of Canoeing and Kayaking (PACK) to host the Pennsylvania State Championship races on the stretch of river from the dam to Betts Recreation Park. This state-wide event drew much positive reaction from the elite racers of the region. It put Warren on the bid list with the United States Canoe Association for consideration as host site for their National Championship events.
In 2003, Warren County hosted the first of what is expected to be many USCA National Championships. The event is scheduled to return to Warren in August 2005, a repeat appearance rare in the USCA history.
The relationship with PACK also continues with the Pennsylvania State Championship scheduled for the Allegheny River course in Warren on July 17, 2004.
The river is not limited to competitive paddlers by any means. Recreational paddling......or floating...... opportunities abound on the Allegheny, with services provided by Allegheny Outfitters.