National Park Service Issues Guide For Building River And Lake Access Points For Canoes, Kayaks

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Groups and organizations looking for insights in how to build canoe and kayak access points to rivers and lakes can turn to a new guide from the National Park Service.

Prepare to Launch! Guidelines For Assessing, Designing, and Building Access Sites for Carry-in Watercraft is written for river managers, planners, boaters and water trail leaders looking to build access to waterways. Developed in partnership with the River Management Society, this publication provides an easy to navigate, image-rich, guide to launch designs and considerations.

Prepare to Launch! will help water resource managers provide safe and sustainable launches that strengthen connections to the nation’s waterways,” said Joan Harn, the Park Service's river programs manager. “By collaborating with the River Management Society and our state, local and national partners, we can expand everyone’s capacity to access and enjoy America’s rivers and waterways.”

Prepare to Launch! can be found on the River Management Society website in e-book, interactive presentation, and web formats.

“This resource can help managers save time, avoid costly mistakes and stay ahead of the demand of a growing and diversifying audience of human-powered recreationists,” said Risa Shimoda, River Management Society executive director.

Prepare to Launch! guides users through a process to determine the best launch for their site and to make design choices with confidence. It includes: 246 illustrated pages with access site images; recommendations and case studies that can be navigated via interactive links within the document, and; multiple formats viewable on the web and mobile devices.

The site also offers links to a variety of non-motorized launch examples, descriptions of construction methods and materials, and guidance on regulatory requirements to consider during design and construction.

Prepare to Launch! also includes examples of launches tailored to paddlers with disabilities.