A water trail that flows above abandoned frontier towns, waters that Lewis and Clark traveled, and a popular water trail that follows an international border were added to the National Water Trails System this week.
“These national water trails provide exemplary close-to-home places for people to explore and enjoy,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. “And I am particularly happy to have these trails added to the system. They are cooperatively supported and sustained through the efforts of community, state and federal partners.”
The three additions to the national system are:
* The Island Loop Route Water Trail in Michigan
This, the most popular water trail in St. Clair County, Michigan, provides a unique recreational experience for residents and visitors of all abilities as they navigate the trail, which includes part of Lake Huron, a canal, and two rivers. Boaters and paddlers pass Michigan’s oldest lighthouse, drift over rare sturgeon spawning habitat, and glide under the Blue Water Bridge that connects to Ontario, Canada.
* The Red Rock Water Trail in Iowa
The Red Rock Water Trail is a 36-mile loop on scenic Lake Red Rock. Boaters and paddlers of all skill levels can see magnificent sandstone bluffs, watch birds and other wildlife, explore the trail by moonlight, and discover stories about historic frontier towns below the river’s banks.
* The Missouri National Recreation River Water Trail that flows through South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.
This water trail carries visitors through some of the last natural stretches of America’s longest river. Paddlers and boaters have the chance to explore more than 147 miles, including wild and scenic stretches of the Missouri River, and view scenery that Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals more than 200 years ago.
The newly designated national water trails join a system of 11 locally managed water trails throughout the country. The trails increase access to water-based outdoor recreation and contribute to the livability and economic vitality of local communities.
National Water Trails are designated by the Secretary of the Interior and are part of the National Trails System, administered by the National Park Service in partnership with a wide range of federal agencies. Designation of national water trails helps to strengthen local efforts for recreation, conservation and restoration of America’s waterways and surrounding lands.
National water trails are the pathways of rivers, lakes and bays, providing a connection for current and future generations to the nature, history and adventure that can be found on the water.
You can explore the entire National Water Trails System online through a dynamic collection of videos, stories and pictures at this site. While you’re there, check out the online toolbox to learn more about best management practices from national water trails across the country.