LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Saturday, roughly 300 nature enthusiasts headed out to the North Boggy Slough in Lufkin, for the 13th annual Neches River Rendezvous.
For some, floating down the Neches River is a sweet escape.
"We have teenagers so coming down here is a stark contrast to having the TV on and music going and just all the craziness," said Paula Botsford.
"Just the peace and quiet," said Don Smith.
For others, participating in the River Rendezvous is a chance to lend a helping hand.
"We get the canoes and we're getting them off the trailer and we're putting them in the water," said John Ellis, a boy scout and volunteer with troop 136.
The roughly nine mile paddling trail allows for some much needed bonding time.
"It's just couple time to enjoy. We enjoy being outdoors and we enjoy trying to stay healthy," said Botsford.
"We're hoping we'll get to see some wildlife," said Rebecca Petty, who says this is her first time traveling the river.
"I wanted to experience something new, something I've never done before," said 13-year-old Mikaela Neal.
The lower water levels make for a good workout.
"We're going to have to paddle a little faster to get there and there's some low spots so that'll be kind of fun to maneuver," said Dale Botsford.
Hundreds seek to explore the river now. Soon, there will be brand new visitors.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Conservation Fund, The Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce joined together to christen the state's newest Texas Paddling Trail.
"People have known about the Neches river but now that it's actually a national river, people from all over the world will be able to go on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and to pull up any Texas paddling trail, and we'll be a part of that," said Tara Watson-Watkins, director of Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"It's going to be a great boom for our economy," said Vice President of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce, Tony Moline.
So visitors near, and far, can explore all that East Texas has to offer, as they float down the Neches-Davy Crockett paddling trail.
Anyone is welcome to explore the Neches-Davy Crockett paddling trail.
You can visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife website for more information on the trail, including kayak and canoe rentals.