Whether you travel north or south this year, two new national water trails provide the opportunity to explore and connect to America’s waterways — the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail and the Huron River Water Trail are the 17th and 18th segments of the National Water Trails System.
“Expanding water trails nationwide improves the environment and adds value to local economies,” said Interior Secretary Jewell. “The National Water Trail System helps people discover the natural beauty and history of local places and provides fun opportunities for families to explore the world around them.”
The Bayou Têche Paddle Trail in Louisiana wanders for 135 miles through four parishes and 13 towns along a historically and culturally significant bayou. This trail promotes the natural beauty of south Louisiana and integrates the history of the people and the land while providing access for paddlers of all abilities.
The Huron River Water Trail is a 104-mile-long inland paddling trail allowing exploration of the river's natural and historic resources and the communities along the river in Michigan. Offering access to flat-water paddling through picturesque scenery, the Huron River Water Trail has stimulated local economies, encouraged people to enjoy the outdoors and strengthened community pride, partnerships and collaboration.
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said, “The National Park Service collaborates closely with partners to develop these water trails, which provide health, social, and economic benefits to their local communities. “These joint efforts help us reach new communities and educate them about the importance of preserving the natural and cultural heritage that can be found in their own backyards.”
The National Water Trail System is a network of national exemplary water trails that can be sustained by an ever-growing water trail community. Water trails are catalysts for protecting and restoring the health of local waterways and surrounding lands. They also provide a connection for current and future generations to the nature, history and adventure that can be found on the water.
Explore the entire National Water Trails System through a dynamic collection of videos, stories and pictures at www.nps.gov/watertrails. While you’re there, check out the online toolbox to learn more about best management practices from national water trails across the country.