Canoe, kayak paddling trail opens March 3
SAN ANTONIO -- Area residents and visitors will have a new opportunity to
explore the outdoors beginning this weekend. The San Antonio River Authority (SARA) will open the Saspamco Paddling Trail for day use on weekends beginning Saturday, March 3. The trail consists of three river access sites serving a 12 mile stretch of river. Paddlers can expect a 2-8hour trip depending on river flow, river segment paddled, and the paddler's pace.
The trail begins on the San Antonio River at Loop 1604, just east of IH-37
and ends at SARA's Helton-San Antonio River Nature Park at FM 775 in northern
Wilson County. The trail also features an alternate midway access site off
of County Road 125 in Wilson County for paddlers who would prefer a shorter
trip. Each river access on the paddling trail includes a parking area,
walkway to the water, portable restroom and picnic tables.
This is the second paddling trail operated by the SARA, and
the first in Bexar and Wilson Counties. In San Antonio, much of the river
has been channelized for flood control purposes but this section of the
river offers paddlers a different experience than expected with its abundant
trees and wildlife viewing opportunities. The river has been difficult to
access for paddling in Wilson County, and the Saspamco Paddling Trail will
provide easy access to the river while enabling paddlers to enjoy the river
in its natural state.
"At SARA, we believe that if folks are able to access and enjoy the river,
they will develop an appreciation and respect for it," says Gaylon Oehlke,
Chairman of the Board of Directors for SARA. "I encourage outdoor
enthusiasts to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to the natural
beauty of the San Antonio River."
The Saspamco Paddling Trail has been designated as an official Texas
Paddling Trail by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The Texas
Paddling Trail Program supports public paddling trails with maps, signage
and other information, including a website that details the thirty-five state paddling trails recognized by the program.
"Our goal at Texas Parks and Wildlife is to help create outdoor recreation
opportunities throughout the state, and this partnership with SARA gives us
the opportunity to open up a great paddling option just minutes away from
one of our major urban centers," says Shelly Plante, Nature Tourism Manager
SARA would like paddlers to keep in mind that the river is
bounded by private property on either side of the river, and that this
private property should be respected. Use of the river should be limited to
the river itself. Paddlers should also practice good stewardship and pack
out any trash that is generated during the trip.
For more information regarding the Saspamco Paddling Trail,
including real time river flow and height readings and weather conditions,
please visit http://www.sara-tx.org .