The project will design and construct a water trail system for non-motorized water activities (e.g. canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or fishing) on the North, Middle Oconee, and Oconee Rivers.
A water trail is an established route along a river and at its minimum is a series boat launches along the river. Each launch is located a comfortable paddling distance for novice paddler (5-8 miles) from its upstream predecessor. Features of a water trail can include: canoe/kayak boat launches; facilities for parking; restrooms and picnic facilities; safety signs and route markers; maps and materials promoting the routes.
The design will integrate the best practices guidelines outlined by the National Water Trails System, an interagency collaborative effort administered by the National Parks Service through the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program and the National Trails System, Conservation Assistance Program and the River Management Society. The trails will be ADA accessible as terrain allows.
The proposed water trails will have up to six launch sites along the North Oconee, Middle Oconee and Oconee rivers. The scenic water trail passes along beginner Class I and II shoals, beautiful rocky bluffs, historic textile mill ruins, wide sandbars, and many miles of secluded forest. A complete trail extends 98 river miles on the North Oconee and Middle Oconee rivers; and provides access to Lake Oconee via the Oconee river.