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Travel

Rivers, Trails & Ales

Marietta’s annual celebration of outdoor fun returns to town.

Founded by a group of adventurous friends with an idea to host a series of bike rides, paddling events and craft beer tastings, the Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival has grown steadily over the past six years. It attracted hundreds of local and visiting participants to Marietta in 2015 with a full schedule of family-friendly activities catering to a wide range of interests.

“There is something for everyone,” says Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival director Hallie Taylor, “whether you are a serious mountain or road rider, someone who likes walking and shopping in a beautiful, historic downtown or just looking to get your kids outside for a morning hike.”

Visitors can find the festival headquarters on the Armory lawn, located in the 200 block of Front Street, but events take place throughout the historic river town. They range from a family-oriented group paddle along a 2-mile section of the Ohio River to morning yoga classes. This year’s festival coincides with the grand opening of a new bike park, and Marietta’s popular single-track mountain bike trail, which weaves throughout the city, continues to grow and evolve, with a group night ride set for Aug. 12.

For those looking for indoor fun, Peoples Bank Theatre, a historic landmark in downtown Marietta, will showcase outdoor-adventure films, and there will once again be a miniature craft beer festival co-hosted by Marietta Brewing Co. featuring selections from breweries across Ohio.

“Our local restaurants host regional beer tastings during the weekend, and the highlight is our local craft brewery, Marietta Brewing Co.,” Taylor says.

VIP passes provide participants with discounts throughout the weekend and purchasing one is a way to support the festival, but the majority of the events held during the four-day affair are free.

“These are activities that are available year-round in Marietta,” Taylor says. “The festival is a weekend to celebrate and enjoy these resources with visitors to our historic town.” 

For more information, visit rtafest.com.

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