Goliad Paddling Trail Opening Slated for April 25

ent--article_ _media__contact">Media Contact: Karen L. Bishop, SARA, 866-345-7272, kbishop@sara-tx.org; Aaron Reed, TPWD, 512-389-046, aaron.reed@tpwd.texas.gov

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Water trail near historic town a first for S. Texas, only third inland trail in system

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GOLIAD, Texas — Paddling and nature enthusiasts will celebrate the official opening of the newest Texas Paddling Trail in historic Goliad April 25.

Officials from the Canoe Trail Goliad Committee, the San Antonio River Authority and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Goliad State Park at 10 a.m. Wed., with refreshments following.

After the ceremony, guests with their own equipment are invited to paddle the final 1.6 mile stretch of the Goliad Paddling Trail for a chance to experience the river first-hand. The initial segment of the Goliad Paddling Trail begins at Highway 59, flows 5 miles to historic Ferry Street, and continues 1.46 miles to a take-out at Goliad State Park. The newly designated 6.6 mile segment of the San Antonio River in Goliad County becomes the state’s third inland paddling trail — the first on a Texas river that is anchored by a state park.

“In a state that’s about 95 percent privately owned, public waterways are important,” said TPWD Nature Tourism Coordinator Shelly Plante. “We want to help people learn where they can access rivers in our partner communities.”

Plante said the Goliad Paddling Trail is the culmination of several years’ work by the Canoe Trail Goliad committee, SARA and TPWD and is the second paddling trail to come online this year. The Goliad trail joins the Luling-Zedler Mill Paddling Trail (on the San Marcos River), the Columbus Paddling Trail (on the Colorado River) and seven coastal paddling trails.

As part of TPWD’s Texas Paddling Trails network, the Goliad Paddling Trail will include highway signage, maintained put-in and take-out locations, designated parking and interpretive information and maps to help visitors get the most out of a day on the water.

“These resources will direct eco-tourists to Goliad County,” stated Terry Baiamonte, a SARA board member representing Goliad County. “They will provide a new level of exposure to the local canoe trail effort and to Goliad in general.”

“Year-round river flows, direct access to Goliad State Park, and proximity to Goliad’s historic Courthouse Square, the Angel of Goliad Hike and Bike Trail and Mission Espiritu Santo make the segment an attractive canoe or kayak experience,” said Dale Bransford, SARA’s Park Services Manager, who is coordinating the planning and operation at the trail.

“It is the central component of the Canoe Trail Goliad Committee’s vision—a trail system that, ultimately, will begin at Highway 239 and flow 58.1 miles across Goliad County to Duke Bridge Crossing,” said Adair Sutherland, also a SARA board member representing Goliad County.

“From our perspective, paddling trails offer the public a unique way to enjoy our natural resources, and highlight conservation issues, water issues and the importance of water for the state of Texas,” said Plante.

Editors/Producers: Canoes or kayaks may be provided for working journalists; please contact Karen Bishop at SARA (kbishop@sara-tx.org, 866-345-7272) or Aaron Reed at TPWD (aaron.reed@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8046).

For more information about the Goliad Paddling Trail, contact Dale Bransford, SARA Park Services Manager, at (866) 345-7272. For more information about Canoe Trial Goliad, contact John N. Barnhart, Chair of the Canoe Trial Goliad Committee, at (361) 645-3563.

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