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 Allen County Highway Department and IN Dept. of Natural Resources to turn land over to the State for the installation of a new boat ramp on the St. Joseph River at the Mayhew Rd bridge.
- Host of four community events, Pedal, Paddle, Play, which inspired nearly 500 people new to paddling to give it a try.
- Provide educational talks at community events and for school aged children regarding water quality and the benefits of outdoor recreation.
- Facilitated the installation of a new access site on the St. Joseph River (Maumee River Basin)
- And much more to come so keep your eyes and ears open…