HOPE VALLEY – Rhode Island’s kayakers and canoers now have a crystal clear idea of what kind of waters they’re getting into. The Rhode Island Blueways Alliance, a nonprofit organization, released 20 detailed maps of paddle trails throughout the state on Monday.
Ten watershed organizations across the state worked in partnership with the Blueways Alliance, with funding from the Rhode Island Foundation, to create the full-color maps.
Started in 2006, the Blueways project brought different interest groups together to plan a comprehensive water trail network, with the hope of promoting conservation, recreation and economic development in the Ocean State, according to a release. The trails link Rhode Island’s rivers, lakes and ponds to Narragansett Bay and to rivers in neighboring Massachusetts.
The water trails currently do not contain markers or signs, so the new maps are intended to provide paddle tour-goers with information, gathered by experienced paddlers, about the difficulty level recommended for the route, where to put in and take out, and what to expect on the water.
The new paddling trail maps will be added to the Rhode Island Blueways’ Boat Launch Map later this year, but are available now to download from their website.