Canyon County Parks, Recreation and Waterways has been awarded a National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Grant to help plan a Snake River Water Trail in Idaho and Oregon. This water Trail will span southwest Idaho and include over 150 miles of explorable river with segments rich in natural and cultural resources like the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area and the Black Butte-Guffey Butte Archaeological District.
Water trails, sometimes referred to as water routes, blue trails or blueways, are becoming increasingly popular across North America. They vary from short routes along shorelines to loops around lakes and lagoons. They may entail hundreds of river miles through several states or they may follow the coastline and visit maritime ports and remote islands. Regardless of their length or configuration, water trails are proven valuable assets to cities and counties because they provide recreational and educational opportunities for their citizens and visitors. Water trails also help people discover new perspectives on their communities, raise awareness of watershed stewardship and serve as economic engines through tourism and its associated hospitality industry.
Water trails are boat routes suitable for canoes, rafts and kayaks as well as recreational motorized watercraft. Like pedestrian, equestrian and bicycle trails, water trails are recreational corridors between destinations. Water trail amenities include access areas, boat launches, day-use sites, fishing accesses, and camping areas. Water trails serve as educational venues that create interactive educational experiences regarding the geology, pre-history, history, ecology and commerce of an area.
What will the Snake River Water Trail Accomplish?
The Snake River Water Trail is in the very earliest stages of its planning, so it has not entirely been decided by the public just how it will look or what it will do for the communities. Planning the Snake River Water Trail will take two years. It will require the assistance and input of people all along its proposed length.
During the next 12 months, we will be creating a Planning Group and several task forces to collect resource information, inventory waypoints, identify new partners, and begin to design this water trail.
If you are interested in helping plan the Snake River Water Trail, please contact Canyon County Parks through our email address in the Address section of this page. We did propose some goals for the Trail when application for assistance was made. These proposed goals are general. They are the kind of goals that many other water trail systems have adopted in the west.