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General Media Contact: Business Hours, 512-389-4406

Additional Contacts: Rob McCorkle, TPWD, (830) 866-3533 or robert.mccorkle@tpwd.texas.gov; Shelly Plante, TPWD, (512) 389-4500 or shelly.plante@tpwd.texas.gov

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — April 14, 2011

7 New DFW Area Texas Paddling Trails to Open May 10

Trail Launches Commemorate Texas Travel Rally Day

AUSTIN – Paddlers and nature tourists will soon be able to enjoy everything from a relaxing journey down a shaded creek or across a wildlife-rich wetlands pond to a wide-open paddle across a placid lake or an exciting run of Trinity River “whitewater” within view of the Dallas skyline when seven new Texas Paddling Trails open on May 10 throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in partnership with north Texas communities will host seven events on Tuesday, May 10, beginning with an 8 a.m. kickoff of the Walnut Creek Paddling Trail on Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie. Other paddling trail launch events will take place throughout the day in Arlington, Bridgeport, Dallas, Lewisville and Rowlett, culminating with a 5 p.m. final trail opening ceremony at Runaway Bay on Lake Bridgeport in Wise County.

“These trails represent what is simply the biggest water park in Texas, showcasing some of the state’s most remarkable natural areas convenient to our growing urban population,” says Carter Smith, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s executive director. “Their opening reinforces the crucial message that travel matters to all Texans and our communities that depend on tourism dollars.”

With a grand total of 57 miles of paddling trails, including the 11-mile Lake Arlington Paddling Trail that launched in 2008, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will offer tourists yet another way to visit and enjoy the outdoors. By offering these new nature tourism opportunities in addition to the fine dining, shopping and historical and cultural tourism attractions, the DFW area has even more to offer tourists.

“The DFW area paddling trails represent the largest concentration of official Texas Paddling Trails in the state,” says Shelly Plante, TPWD’s nature tourism manager. “As a celebration of Texas Travel Rally Day, which recognizes the value of the tourism industry to the state’s economy and quality of life, this is also the most trails we’ve ever launched on a single day. We hope the public can join us in the celebration.”

The new trails are scattered throughout four counties. They incorporate the waters of Lake Bridgeport, Lake Ray Hubbard and Joe Pool Lake; the Trinity River and its West Fork; Boons, Bed, Willow and Walnut creeks; and a beaver pond located just below Lake Lewisville Dam near the confluence of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River.

The May 10 trail launch events are as follows:

The seven paddling trail dedications occurring throughout the Metroplex are just some of the many travel-related events taking place throughout Texas as part of Texas Travel Rally Day designated by Gov. Rick Perry in honor of U. S. Travel Rally Day. U. S. Travel Rally Day is sponsored by the U. S. Travel Association, and occurs during National Travel and Tourism Week.

Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Texas Paddling Trails program provides increased recreational access to Texas rivers, bays and lakes while helping to promote habitat conservation through sustainable economic development. The program began in 1998 and with the addition of the DFW-area trails now offers tourists and Texans 33 paddling trails statewide with more being added every day. More Americans paddle (canoe, kayak or raft) than play soccer, making it one of the fastest-growing nature tourism experiences in the nation.

Note to Media: For a map of the 7 new DFW area paddling trails and digital images, visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/news_roundup/texas_travel_rally_day_2011/

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