Around The CountiesOttawa County

Free paddle guide offers routes, safety tips

PUT-IN-BAY – Those looking to paddle the bay can pick up a free guide featuring routes, safety information and more. The brochure – a project of the Put-in-Bay Township Park District, Ohio Sea Grant and the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program – was released last year.

The Lake Erie Islands Water Trails guide features five circular paddling routes and associated public access points around South Bass, Middle Bass, North Bass, Kelleys Island and the Catawba and Marblehead peninsula area. Access points to the nearly 60 miles of paddling trails are visible from the water and marked with color coded signs that coordinate with the guide by island. Safety, environmental information, access amenities, and paddling distances are also included.

The creation of the guide came from the growing interest of kayaking and paddling sports in the area.

“We wanted to create a guide that could help people be safe on Lake Erie and show them where proper access sites are located,” said Lisa Brohl, commissioner, for the Put-in-Bay Township Park District.

The free guides are available at the Lake Erie Shores and Islands Visitors Centers in Port Clinton and Sandusky, as well as the Lake Erie Island State Park Offices on South Bass, Middle Bass and Kelleys Islands and the Aquatic Visitors Center at Put-in- Bay. It is also available online at LEwatertrails.

“Residents, visitors and the entire island community will benefit from these Lake Erie Island Water Trails,” said Andrea Irland, outdoor recreation planner for the National Park Service’s River, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program.

fThe project was made possible by an Ohio Environmental Education Fund grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program carries out the natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation mission of the National Park Service in communities across America.

The Put-in-Bay Township Park District was formed in 2006 dedicated to protecting and preserving unique areas that enhance the heritage of the Lake Erie Islands.

Ohio State University’s Ohio Sea Grant College Program is part of NOAA Sea Grant, a network of 33 Sea Grant programs dedicated to the protection and sustainable use of marine and Great Lakes resources. For information, visit ohioseagrant.