Learn How to Partner with TPWD to Develop a Paddling Trail
Texas Paddling Trails are an exciting way for landowners and communities to partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife to conserve habitats while providing recreational opportunities for the traveling public. The paddling trails of Texas promote sustainable economic development and build public support for conservation of waterways and wildlife.
As Texas becomes more urbanized, it becomes ever more important that there are public places to enjoy outdoor recreational opportunities, such as canoeing and kayaking. The Texas Paddling Trails program provides these opportunities while also helping to conserving rivers and bays.
This program offers communities in Texas a way to partner with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, for the purpose of benefiting their own area while also helping build an extensive network of paddling trails across the state to be enjoyed by Texans and out-of-state tourists for many generations to come.
Ways TPWD Can Help
- Work with the local community partners
- Promote your paddling trail as part of the Texas Paddling Trails program (TPT)
- Provide TPT kiosk design options and estimated costs
- Develop trail map and local interpretive information for use in marketing materials (i.e., kiosk inserts, Web site)
- Provide river conservation and river ethics information for use in marketing materials
- Provide official TPT marker signage for roadways and put-in/take-out locations
- Provide interpretive vinyl insert for approved community to use in kiosks
Assisting with kiosk design, surveying GPS coordinates to help create an aerial map, and evaluating water conditions are some additional ways that TPWD can help.
Desirable Paddling Trail Characteristics
- Public access must be a minimum of four paddling miles to a maximum of twelve paddling miles for each segment on linear trails; ponds, lakes and bays may be shorter since paddlers can spend as long as they would like exploring this type of trail
- Presence of natural or historical attractions such as rapids, mature trees or unique habitat, wildlife diversity, historic sites, etc.
- Adequate water quality, river flows or water depth (seasonal flows acceptable)
- Population center within 100 miles
- Local partner(s) to maintain put-in/take-outs and keep them clean
- Canoe and kayak rentals from local sources (not required but helpful in promoting paddling tourism in your community)
- Designated parking
- TPT marker signage and kiosk
Texas Paddling Trails remain popular and in high demand. Although new paddling trail applications are being received and reviewed, recent drought conditions coupled with agency cutbacks have slowed our paddling trail development process. TPWD appreciates your patience and understanding as we strive to make the best strategic use of available resources.
Who to Contact
If you have an interest in developing a Texas Paddling Trail in your community, please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife Nature Tourism Manager, Shelly Plante.
TPWD’s Recreation Grants Branch offers recreational grants for park development or improvement. Local entities are encouraged to apply for these funds, although it is not a requirement of the Paddling Trails Program. Please visit the Recreation Grants website or contact the Recreation Grants Program by email for more information.