Kayakers on 500-mile trip to visit

The kayak trip of more than 500 miles across the state by adventurers Richard Harpham and Glenn Charles includes stops next week in Oneida County.

The Spare Seat Kayak Expedition is scheduled to arrive Tuesday when the travelers cross Oneida Lake and paddle into Sylvan Beach. Before they exit the county on the eastern boundary via the Erie Canal on Friday, Harpham and Charles will visit attractions around the village on the lake’s eastern shore, as well as in Rome, Marcy and Utica, reports Kelly Blazosky, president of Oneida County Tourism.

The public can meet Harpham and Charles Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Sylvan Beach offices, 808 Marina Drive. The kayakers will give a presentation about their current journey and previous adventures. Harpham has made well publicized kayaking trips in Britain and other parts of the world.

The duo began the trek May 1 in Buffalo. Their final destination is down the Hudson River to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. The expedition is being documented for the British Broadcasting Corp. and the Britain-based Adventure Travel magazine. They want to introduce the BBC audience to the canal system that was a key factor in turning New York and the United States into an economic power after the canal opened in 1825.

Harpham and Charles are traveling the route in doubled-seated kayaks, inviting community members along the route to join them. They will meet the public, conduct talks, coach about kayaking and attend community events that will help promote local efforts to enjoy and protect New York’s waterways.

Planned local stops include:

— Tuesday, Sylvan Beach: Arrival at canal docks about 4 p.m.; dinner with community leaders at Harpoon Eddie’s at 7 p.m.

— Wednesday, Sylvan Beach; Public presentation at 7 p.m. at village offices, 808 Marina Drive.

— Thursday: Depart Sylvan Beach 8 a.m.; arrive at Rome’s Bellamy Park about noon; depart Rome around 2:30 p.m.; arrive at Marcy Lock 20 about 6:15 p.m.

— Friday: Depart Lock 20 by 6:30 a.m.

Harpham, an adventurer who has spent the past few years kayaking and cycling exotic locales around the planet, and Charles met kayaking on the Inside Pass, between Seattle, Wash., and Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska three years ago.