So Many Water Trails So Little Time


Recently I had the opportunity to learn about some of the coolest water trails in the US and Canada at the International Water Trails Conference held this year in Port Townsend, Washington. The Washington Water Trails Association (WWTA) did a great job organizing, hosting, and picking a beautiful location for the event. All kinds of trails were represented at the conference; short trails, long trails, urban trails, wilderness trails, trails that circumnavigated states like the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, and trails that cross international borders like Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

After listening to the trail presentations and wanting to paddle each and every trail, I got to thinking if it would it be possible in a lifetime to paddle all the established water trails in the US. People set out to do incredible things, I once met a man in Zambia who was walking around the world following the footsteps of man. He figured it was going to take him 20 years. I think it would be possible to paddle every established water trail, although it may take 20 or more years of paddling everyday. However, there would be a problem for those that seek to accomplish this improbable goal, the water trail movement is growing and gaining momentum. Several new trails are developed every year. It is concievable that after 20 years of paddling one would face an additional 20 years of paddling just to catch up with the new trails.

I guess I will have to prioritize, stop fantasizing about this grand mission, and get back to work.