What is a Water Trail?
- Water equivalent of a hiking trail.
- Blueways, canoe trails, and paddle trails are all water trails.
- It has access points along the river, like trailheads, for putting boats on the water or taking them off.
- Suitable for day trips in canoes and kayaks.
- Water trails can be various lengths and are used by paddlers, anglers, hikers and picnickers of all ages and ability.
Download our .pdf copy of our "What is a Water Trail?" flyer below.
Tourism and Economic Growth
- The outdoor recreation industry provides 6.1 million American jobs, $646 billion in spending each year, $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue, and $39.7 billion in state/local tax revenue.
- In Georgia, approximately 1 million paddlers participate in the sport.
- More than 23 billion dollars is spent in the state on outdoor recreation.
- Communities throughout Georgia are realizing the economic benefits of highlighting their waterways.
- In 2002, the estimated impact of visitors to the Chattooga River was $2.6 million, with 60 jobs being supported by river recreation.
- Paddling is an easy outdoor activity for many types of people.
- The recent America’s Great Outdoors Initiative in 2010 found that Americans want access to their rivers, lakes and streams.
- Communities benefit from increased recreation and tourism in their town.
- Paddlers see the conditions of the river and become advocates for clean water.
- The river teaches paddlers about wildlife habitat.
- Protections that can help keep the river clean can include improved zoning and buffer requirements, improved storm water practices, prevention of new water quality threats, and enforcement of water quality laws.
Broad River Water Trail
- The Broad River Water Trail (BRWT) currently runs from the Hudson River and Middle Fork Broad River to Bobby Brown State Park. It includes 10 access points (2 public and 8 on private property with public access to boat launches), plus 8 highway bridge crossings.
- Counties within the Watershed include: Athens-Clarke, Jackson, Habersham, Stephens, Banks, Franklin, Hart, Madison, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Wilkes, and Lincoln.
- 5 information Kiosks have been built along the BRWT (see map).
- The trail will ultimately be 70 miles long beginning on the Hudson or 75 miles on the Middle Fork, continuing downstream along the Broad River, and finishing in Clark's Hill Reservoir.
- The Broad River is among the last free-flowing Piedmont rivers in Georgia. The river supports a significant number of plants and animals, including endangered and threatened species, provides drinking water for various cities and is an industrial and agricultural water supply for the region. The National Park Service recognized 99 miles of the Broad River as pristine enough to qualify for consideration in the Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers System.