Monday, September 22, 2014

Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail

Kayak paddlers assemble for an afternoon on the water

Paddling has become a very popular way to enjoy the natural resources that really define coastal living. It doesn’t matter is you are piloting a canoe, kayak or a stand up board because the Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail (SECT) is set up to aid anyone who is up for the challenge of time on the water in a personal watercraft.
Established in April of 2013, SECT held its first public outing in Charleston, S.C. at the East Coast Paddlesports Festival, held at James Island County Park. It was announced that this SE paddling trail would run from Virginia Beach, Virginia all the way down to St. Mary’s Island in Georgia, just above the Florida line.

That’s a span of 800 miles of coastline that varies from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the Grand Strand of South Carolina. Then it continues along the Beaufort Blueway of the Lowcountry and into the spartina marshes of Georgia. This Southeast Trail was inspired by the formation of the Florida Circumnavigational Paddling Trail that begins at the state line between Georgia and Florida.

More of the population is reportedly trending towards the coastal areas to live in the coming decades, with development possibly stressing the status quo of the natural world. But in the case of paddling the Southeast coast does have some elbow room, with wide rivers and vast harbors and sounds. It’s along these paddling trails where some of the real history of the South can be found and where the adventure of being in the outdoors can still come to life.

Paddling is non-consumptive for natural resources when compared with saltwater fishing for example. Paddling requires no fuel tank fill up either, which accounts for an increase in paddling popularity since the recent recession. Its up to the individual to be ready to go for a paddle and all they need is places like access points and camping sites to be identified.

The website for the SECT has downloadable maps that paddlers can access, plus a calendar of local events within the four states. The interactive map on the site allows one to zoom in to clearly see the paddling trail along its winding path. Those who are social media aware can join paddling clubs to learn more about where paddlers frequent, and related links can be found on the Plan Your Trip page of the SECT website at

To view this entire feature article click on All At Sea.

To view past blog entries about kayaking click Edisto River or Beaufort Bueways or Fishing.

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