New National Water Trails: Exemplary Places to Get Outside

Source: National Park Service

WASHINGTON – Just in time for summer, outdoor enthusiasts can meander through a scenic and rugged portion of the Colorado River or traverse the diverse communities and rich ecosystems of Puget Sound on the two newest National Water Trails. 

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, highlighted the efforts of Federal, State, and local partners by designating the Black Canyon Water Trail in Nevada and Arizona and the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails in Washington State into the National Water Trails System.

“These trails provide an opportunity for families to get outside and explore some of our nation’s most beautiful waterways, and by highlighting them as part of the National Water Trails System, more visitors will have the opportunity to visit and add value to their local economies,” Director Jarvis said. “The National Water Trails System highlights the best of our nation’s water trails that encourage recreation and stewardship.”

The newly designated national water trails join a system of 14 locally managed water trails throughout the country. Federal, State, and local partners have worked together on these trails to increase access to water-based outdoor recreation, encourage community stewardship, and promote local tourism.

The Black Canyon Water Trail is located along a remote portion of the Colorado River within Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The trip begins at the base of the Hoover Dam, a truly spectacular setting, and meanders through the Black Canyon along 30 miles of the Colorado River. The trail ends at the historic mining area known as Eldorado Canyon on Lake Mohave. This spectacular river setting provides unique paddling and rafting opportunities from flowing hot springs in some of the side canyons, to the history associated with the Hoover Dam and the early inhabitants of the surrounding areas.

The Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails showcases the beauty of 371 miles of coastline on the Puget Sound and some of the most spectacular marine environments on the planet. The trail is a destination for paddlers around the globe because of its unique marine environments, the natural scenic beauty of mountains and sound, migrating marine mammal populations and friendly and inviting ports and towns steeped in tradition.

National Water Trails are designated by the Secretary of the Interior and are part of the National Trails System, administered by the National Park Service in partnership with a wide range of federal agencies. The designation of national water trails helps to strengthen local efforts for recreation, conservation and restoration of America’s waterways and surrounding lands.

National water trails are the pathways of rivers, lakes, and bays, providing a connection for current and future generations to the nature, history, and adventure that can be found on the water.

Explore the entire National Water Trails System online through a dynamic collection of videos, stories and pictures at While you’re there, check out the online toolbox to learn more about best management practices from national water trails across the country. 

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

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