National Park Service recognizes Trinity River Paddling Trail
Published on November 16, 2020
The Trinity River Paddling Trail in Dallas and Fort Worth has been designated a National Recreation Trail by the National Parks Service, Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced.
The Trinity River Paddling Trail is 130 miles long and contains 21 official canoe launches. These provide maintained parking areas and a means of launching a canoe, kayak or raft into the river. View a map of the paddling trail.
The achievement was years in the making by Trinity Coalition, a Dallas-based nature-oriented nonprofit founded in 2015. Its goal is to “transform the Trinity River Corridor into a nationally-recognized conservation and recreation area.” National Recreation Trail status for the river is a significant step in accomplishing this mission.
“This would never have happened without the encouragement and coordination from the North Central Texas Council of Governments,” Trinity Coalition board chair Steve Smith said.
In 2018, Smith met with Edith Marvin, head of Environment & Development at NCTCOG. They developed an idea to assemble all the canoe launches that multiple cities along the Trinity River had built into a single, integrated paddling trail.
Marvin brought into the team Dale Harris, a leader in the DFW paddling community through his work with Dallas Downriver Club. Harris led the effort to attain National Park Service status for the Trinity River Paddling Trail and serves as the primary Trinity Coalition contact.
The impact of the National Park Service brand coming to the DFW region is game-changing. The service’s website receives more than 100 million visits a year. With easy access to the area provided by DFW International Airport and Love Field, nature tourism in North Texas promises to grow exponentially.
The Trinity Coalition holds a long-range vision of creating the nation's most extensive urban nature system — Trinity Nature Park — by connecting riverside parks, preserves and municipal land with the Trinity River and its National Park Service-recognized paddling trail at the center.