News Briefs April 17, 2014

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 02:19 PM.

At their April 15 meeting, county commissioners voted unanimously to accept a Florida Paddling Trails Association designation as a Blueway Community.

The designation was supported by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council (TDC).

The Florida Paddling Trails Association (FPTA), a 501(c) (3) organization, established the Florida Paddling Trails Blueway Community Program, which helps communities develop locations of interest to both in-state paddlers and out-of-state tourists.

FPTA defines a Blueway as a water path or trail with launch points, camping and picnic locations and points of interest for paddlers. Blueways are typically developed to encourage recreation, education and community development.

To qualify as a Blueway community a county or municipality must be in proximity to a Florida paddling trail or Blueway and have available accommodations, restaurants and additional recreational opportunities like hiking trails, museums and shopping.

According to FPTA, Florida currently has over 40 designated paddling trails on various rivers and streams in addition to the 1,515-mile Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail.

As a Blueway community, Franklin County will be featured on the FPTA website and in associated advertising.

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