Journalists Stacey Spivey of (KETK) announced 18 February 2014 that, “The City of Mineola and the Texas State Parks and Wildlife are in the early planning stages of a new paddling trail.”
Mercy Rushing, Executive Director of Economic Development in Mineola, Texas envisions the many benefits of a new paddling trail the town and its citizens.
“We feel like this would be something good for others to enjoy as well as our citizens.”
It will be “A great opportunity for new businesses to come to East Texas.” Rushing is also “Hoping this is going to spark a whole new type of industry for the city of Mineola.” Outdoor sports stores are just one kind of businesses Rushing has in mind.
“We not see this as a great thing for the youth, and our citizens and tourism,” according to Rushing, “but it is an economic development because we can see an entrepreneur might want to come in and start a business.”
Vicki Gregg, a resident of Mineola, the new canoe and kayak trail would be a great addition. “I think it’s a fantastic idea. There’s already plenty of horse trails. Kayaking would be great, just what this area needs.”
Shelly Plante, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Nature Tourism, is confident the paddle trail will succeed.
“Paddling is big. It is growing. We have close to a million kayakers in the state and over a million canoers, plus the people who travel here. There is also a huge growth in standup paddling as well.”
Plante is correct about the increasing popularity of paddlesports.
“According to the most recent Outdoor Recreation Participation Study the number of American kayakers increased from 6 million to 11.7 million in five years”
During the same period, “Canoe sports grew from 9.1 million to 9.8 million participants and Stand-up Paddleboarding gained 1.2 million adherents.”
They plan to launch the trail this October at the Mineola Nature Fest.