Four new paddling trails open at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) adds new attractions to state parks as a way to entice all Texans to visit. Part of that plan is at work at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park near Jasper with the completion of four new paddling trails.

"Martin Dies is certainly one of the most unique parks in the system and this paddling trail really opens up a new dimension of the park here," said Kevin Good, Special Assistant. To State Parks Director, TPWD.

The trails winds their way through several distinct water-types.  Good says this allows paddlers to see new kinds of ecological systems.

"Experience more in a controlled environment. A way to get out on the lake and into the wilderness," said Good.

Interest in paddling sports like canoeing and kayaking are growing rapidly. These new trails have a variety of skill levels, making it easy for anyone to get started.

Program Specialist with TPWD Ron Smith was part of the design process.

"We want to make sure that a portion of our access is family-oriented, a portion is kind of going to be wilderness-oriented, and a portion of it is going to be very high-skill level," said Smith.

New park attractions, besides entertaining, have an economic impact. TPWD Region IV Director Justin Rhodes says tourists spend money at local stores and restaurants.

"That's the thought, you know, the more we have to offer, the more people will come to our area," said Rhodes.

Their banking that the trails will trickle in a growing number of paddling enthusiasts across the state.

If you're interested in checking out the new paddling trails at Martin Dies all the info you need is here on the TPWD web site.

©2010 KTRE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.