Water Trail Toolbox: Building A Water Trail
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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You have created a nonprofit organization, identified the stakeholders and partners, and drafted a development plan for the trail. Now it is time to go to work—to create access sites, develop facilities, and prepare guide materials for trail users.

1. Establishing Access

Over the years local boaters commonly create informal sites to get onto and off the waterway. Some of them make ideal accesses for the trail while others might be dangerous, awkwardly placed, and unevenly spaced for general public use. You probably will have to develop some new launch sites and parking areas, and you may have to create some campsites. [Learn more]

2. Developing Trail Facilities

Facilities that are customarily built along a water trail fall into three general categories: access, day use, and camping. The size and appearance of these facilities may well be determined by the availability of funds, the setting, and the expertise of the construction crew. [Learn more]

3. Producing Guide Materials

All but the most adventurous of boaters want a map of the water trail and information about sites—and hazards—they will encounter along the way. They want to know the locations of launching and parking areas, campsites, picnic areas, toilets, and other facilities. You can convey this information, safety tips, and management policies through map folders, guidebooks, signs, and orientation exhibits and websites. Properly written and designed, they can greatly enhance the water trail experience. [Learn more]

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