The Northeast Indiana Water Trails is a regional partnership working to increase recreation opportunities on our waterways by promoting boat access, water safety and stewardship, and the development of regional water trails that will empower our citizens to become more active and unified.
The NEI Water Trails, which is housed under the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, first began in 2015 as a group of individuals from throughout the Region who were interested in water quality and water recreation and how to improve both. From there, the help of the National Park Service: Rivers, Trail, and Conservation Assistance Program was enlisted. In October, 2016 Rory Robinson, a representative from the NPS:RTCA program led us through the strategic planning process to give us a vision for the future.
Since the Initiatives inception, the group has had several successes including:
- Development of a water proof water trail map for the Western Lake Erie Basin in Indiana (available at Fort Wayne Outfitters and bike Depot and Visit Fort Wayne. ($5 suggested donation)
- Coordination between landowners and IN DNR for land donations for new public boat access sites.
- Host the annual Pedal, Paddle, Play, our annual fundraiser and community event to encourage more people to experience NE Indiana's water trails.
- Provide education and outreach at community events and for school aged children regarding water quality, safe water recreation, and the benefits of outdoor recreation.
- Facilitate the installation of a new access sites on the 567 miles of flowing water in the 10 county NE Indiana region.
- Assist dam owners with proper development and installation of warning signs about the dangers of low head dams.
- Develop and create wayfinding and interpretive signs at public access sites throughout the region.
- And much more to come so keep your eyes and ears open…