Meet The Founders
Float the River
Eco-tourism adventures in your backyard
Float the River all started from a long-distance relationship between two outdoorsy nature-loving individuals. Savannah and TJ started dating when TJ was living in Houston, but he spent most of his time exploring in the areas surrounding Central Texas, in the great outdoors.
Gathering a group of friends, a cooler full of refreshments, and a waterproof Bluetooth speaker to float down the river was is TJ’s idea of heaven. The couple was tired of the long distance relationship so TJ decided to move to Akron where Savannah was pursuing her PhD in Analytical Chemistry. Savannah, a lover of all things adventure and outdoors introduced TJ to the Cuyahoga River. TJ told her about the fun he used to have floating the Frio, Comal, and Guadalupe rivers and they realized nobody was renting tubes on the Cuyahoga so they decided to buy a few of their own and float with some friends. After multiple trips floating trips, they received the same feedback from everyone they took with them: “THIS IS SO FUN!!” And that…is where the concept for a Cuyahoga focused float was born.
As TJ & Savannah learned more about the river’s history they realized that it still had a negative connotation because of the fire 50 years prior. Much of the surrounding community still saw the river as dirty, so Savannah facilitated scientific experiments on the water quality of the Cuyahoga River as well as other local waterways that are used recreationally. The results showed that the Cuyahoga was just as clean as, and often cleaner than, these other waterways. (Which can be attributed to all of the hard work that the community and stewards have put into this now beautiful waterway!)
Motivated to spread a more positive outlook of the Cuyahoga the couple decided to start a social venture, renting tubes on the river to give people a positive emotional experience associated with the Cuyahoga River by way of ecotourism. To help continue the river’s progress, they hold yearly river clean-ups, donate to river stewards, and spend their own personal time ensuring the river can be used safely and sustainably. The idea has grown into a full-fledged, self-sustaining, business that positively affects the local community around the river, as well as the 2+ million annual visitors to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, not to mention the vast amounts of wildlife that could be negatively impacted by improper use or mistreatment of the river.
Float The River (FTR) is an ecotourism company providing a full-service floating experience on the Cuyahoga River, in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
FTR’s mission is to create a vibrant and sustainable recreational experience on the Cuyahoga River. It is a company-wide goal to change perceptions about this beautiful river and to show what caring enough about something can truly accomplish. In this process, they hope to promote sustainability in their customer’s everyday lives.