Kids In Kayaks Program

Read more about this program at National Parks Service website

Traveling along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, 8th graders at The Mount Washington School learned about important history and a problem of today’s world.

The students had been studying Captain John Smith’s work to map the waterways of the Chesapeake. With paddles in hand, they became captains themselves as they steered kayaks along the same route Smith took on the Patapsco River 400 years ago. The students also learned how to communicate with flag signals, analyzed skulls from the Chesapeake area, and mapped water routes of the British during the War of 1812. But many students were struck by how much trash now pollutes the water.

The field trip was part of the National Park Service’s Kids in Kayaks program, which retraces Smith’s route in mapping the coastline and waterways. During the 2015-16 school year, about 600 Baltimore City Public Schools students will have to participate in the program.

Blue Trails Webinar: Revitalizing Local Communities through Recreation and River Protection

Learn how conserving rivers and riverside lands while promoting recreation can spur economic development around the country. Learn more about Blue Trails at

Prepare to Launch! Guidelines for Assessing, Designing, and Building Launch Sites for Carry-in Watercraft

By Risa Shimoda – produced by River Management Society and the McLaughlin Whitewater Design Group, a division of Merrick & Company.

This recording of a web-based review of Prepare to Launch! is to help river managers, parks planners and water trails leaders consider and build ‘put-in and take out’ sites as they address the evolving needs of paddlers and other users of non-motorized or hybrid (launches that welcome both non-motorized and motorized) watercraft. This is a product was developed by the River Management Society for the National Park Service River, Trails Conservation Assistance (RTCA) and National Water Trails programs.

Hitchcock Blue Trails

Blue Trails can help local communities connect with their river, increase recreation, and help their local economy. Hitchcock Creek’s Blue Trail is a great example of how towns from small to large can benefit from reconnecting with their river. Learn more about Blue Trails at

Head of the Rock Regatta – Rockford, Illinois

by Nels Akerlund – Nels Akerlund website
The Head of the Rock Regatta is a rowing race of 5,000 meters (3.2 miles) on the Rock River, and is a sanctioned event of the United States Rowing Association. The Head of the Rock has expanded over the past 29 years into one of the Midwest’s premier rowing events with clubs also competing from as far away as Alaska and Colorado. There are now 65 teams with 1,700 participants. The Rowing Club of the YMCA produces this annual event. 17 Collegiate teams are represented and 16 USRowing licensed referees maintain safety and fairness of the race. The event attracts over 5,000 spectators each year. Head of the Rock website

Rock River Water Trail Report by Tom Lindblade

Rock River Trail by Tom Lindblade

From it headwaters above the Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin, the Rock River flows approximately 320 miles through Wisconsin and Illinois to its confluence with the Mississippi near Rock Island. The Rock River Trail is an attempt to make this wonderful resource available so that paddlers and others can appreciate what it has to offer.