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Exploring area's history and nature by paddling along Buffalo River

Dan Almasi

A new attraction at Silo City aims to connect local residents with Buffalo’s historic waterways. Silo City Paddling Company recently launched its inaugural season along the Buffalo River, renting kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. The company also conducts weekly tours that showcase an important part of Western New York’s heritage, including the waterfront’s old grain elevators.

The enterprise was the brainchild of Silo City owner Rick Smith, who proposed the concept to Kevin Beckwith, the owner of Gear for Adventure. He talked with WBFO during a tour of the waterfront operation.

“The plan for us is to provide an awesome experience for people, get them out onto the water safely, efficiently, and just to have a very good time – and see Buffalo from a different perspective,” said Beckwith.

Folks who paddle along the Buffalo River can expect a diversified adventure.

“This location is fantastic because if you go upstream, you can get to the nature side of Buffalo,” Beckwith said. “You can see all kinds of birds that I’ve never seen anywhere but here. And if you decide to go downstream, you can go to Canalside, you can go to RiverWorks; you can go all over the place.”

The paddling excursions and tours are just a couple components of Smith’s long-term plans for Silo City.  The venue hosts Boom Days, an annual event celebrating Buffalo’s waterfront. It has also hosted many musical events, art exhibits and other activities. Plans are in the works to create a rock-climbing wall

Credit Dan Almasi

one of the century-old silos and to build a boat launch.  

“Rick wants to create a place where people can come and have fun and have things to do,” Beckwith said.

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