On April 19, 2013, a coalition of federal, state and private agencies, including the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), officially launched a new website for the Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail (SECT): www.secoastpaddlingtrail.com.
First introduced at the East Coast Paddlesports & Outdoor Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the new SECT website will be the primary source for all-inclusive information on navigating the coastal water trails of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Featuring a detailed, interactive map that highlights access sites, paddlers can now travel an unbroken trail of tidal marshes and rivers more than 800 miles along the coasts of all four states.
HRPDC staff was involved in planning the Virginia segment of the trail as well as providing technical support through developing the new website, creating the logo, collecting data, and creating maps.
The Virginia section of the trail begins at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp in Virginia Beach and connects to the North Carolina border via canals and the North Landing River. Local partners involved in planning the Virginia section of the trail include staff from the City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Department, Wild River Outfitters, and several local paddling enthusiasts.
The SECT also provides a connection between two well-known regional trails: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail that stretches from Virginia to Delaware and the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, which extends from the Georgia-Florida border all the way around the state to the west end of the Florida panhandle. What could be called the “Appalachian Trail of water trails,” paddlers can now follow these three regional trails for approximately 5,275 miles through nine states.
The National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) was tasked with facilitating the planning for the SECT. The RTCA teamed up with a number of agencies, including the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The Conservation Fund of North Carolina, the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (SC) in addition to the HRPDC, to bring the trail from concept to reality over the course of several years.
Visit the Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail.
Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail Exhibit Table at the East Coast Paddlesports & Outdoor Festival, Charleston, SC.