I am so glad my Airbnb hostess told me about this!
Utilizing 1,000 feet of the Uncompahgre River which flows through the town’s Riverbottom Park, grant money allowed the construction of ramps (put-in and exit points) , bridges, spectator areas, etc. for the formation of the Montrose Water Sports Park, one of the few in the state and one of few in the country to satisfy ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards allowing access for all.
I stopped here yesterday on the way home and found Emergency Rescue crew training underway, as well as kids and other users enjoying the facility.
This guy (red life-vest in the middle of the river) was valiantly trying to stand up on his surfboard while surfing in place (facing IN to the wave, as opposed to riding the wave – which I didn’t even know one could do…).
When I took the photo above I was standing next to a guy in a red watersuit who said he was the “upstream spotter”. Behind us was a large class of rescue workers and trainees (and perhaps regular people who wanted to learn the basics of water rescue) and the spotter had a whistle and would alert them if someone (kayakers, rafters, paddleboarders, etc) were coming downstream so they could clear a path.
When “class” adjourned the members walked upstream and practiced “riding the river” downstream. Tip – apparently you should roll on your back and float feet-first downstream, and roll on your stomach and swim to the bank if you want to stop.
Needless to say, this is probably a VERY popular spot on a hot summer day. The park itself is huge and has many other components (ball fields, skateboard park, open space and picnic areas). A great investment!