Camden Snow Bowl

Camden Installs Maine’s first fully ADA-compliant kayak/canoe launch

Posted:  Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 7:30am

CAMDEN — "I am so excited that I'll be able to kayak again," said a woman at the new boat launch at Hosmer Pond at the beginning of August. Seated in a wheelchair due to neuropathy of her legs caused by chemotherapy, she was watching her grandchildren jump off the dock and swim in the pond. And her words were music to Camden resident Elinor Klivan's ears.

Klivan's donation of the state's first fully Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant EZ Launch® Accessible Transfer System became a reality this month, with final installation of the railings along the deck's edge.

Launching and docking a kayak or canoe has never been easier for someone with a disability, especially those with limited use of their legs. Camden's new EZ Launch System is perfect for small boat lovers of all experience levels, from beginners who have never been in a boat to advanced kayakers.

Everyone will find boarding, launching and recovery a breeze with the system.

A first in the industry, the EZ Launch Accessible Transfer System for kayaks and canoes provides individuals with disabilities accessibility that exceeds the minimum requirements of the ADA. The easy-to-use transfer bench and transfer slide boards allow users to simply sit, slide over and drop down into a kayak or canoe, and then use the side rails to pull out of the launch and into the pond, and then back into the launch again.

This project was made possible by Klivans, and her vision of making one of Camden's great outdoor resources ADA compliant for all users.

"I hope that a lot of people find out about it and enjoy using it," Klivans said, while standing on the dock and checking out the new launch. "It is my hope that people, who could not get out the water previously, can now use the dock to once again have access to the water.

Hosmer Pond is located at the Camden Snow Bowl, 20 Barnestown Road. The boat launch is open for use by the public at no charge.