national water trails

Gavins Point Dam. Photo: Jake DeGroot via wikipedia

New National Water Trails

This morning the National Park Service added three waterways to its National Water Trails program, including a 147-mile section of the Missouri River in South Dakota, and scenic routes in Michigan and Iowa. The new trails bring the number of trails in the program to 14.

"These national water trails provide exemplary close-to-home places for people to explore and enjoy," said NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. The trails are cooperatively supported and sustained by community, state and federal partners, he said.

The three newest additions to the national system are the Island Loop Route Water Trail in Michigan; the Red Rock Water Trail in Iowa; and the Missouri National Recreation River Water Trail in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa

The Island Loop Route, the most popular water trail in St. Clair County, Mich., provides a unique recreational experience for residents and visitors of all abilities as they navigate the trail. The loop includes part of Lake Huron, a canal and two rivers. Boaters pass Michigan's oldest lighthouse, drift over a rare sturgeon spawning habitat and glide under the Blue Water Bridge that connects to Ontario, Canada.

The Red Rock Water Trail is a 36-mile loop on scenic Lake Red Rock. Paddlers 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 carries visitors through some of the last natural stretches of America's longest river. Paddlers have the chance to explore more than 147 miles, including wild and scenic stretches of the Missouri River, and view landscapes that Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals over 200 years ago.

Explore the entire National Water Trails System online through videos, stories and pictures.