Explore the Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail by attending a free program on Saturday, March 25, at the Vermillion Public Library beginning at 1 p.m. Tim Cowman, Water Trail Coordinator and board member for the Friends of the Missouri National Recreational River, will present a program about the water trail and how to make for an exciting day on the 147-mile water trail.
“The Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail transports paddlers through some of the last remaining natural stretches of America’s longest river,” said Cowman. “Paddlers and boaters have the chance to explore more than 147 miles of river, including wild and scenic stretches of the Missouri River, and view scenery that Lewis and Clark recorded in their journals more than 200 years ago.”
Cowman’s presentation on Saturday will explain how the water trail works and the exciting opportunities the trail has along its route. The Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail contains 29 different access points where visitors can access the river for wildlife and scenic viewing and read interpretive panels.
“There is plenty of visual entertainment to be seen along the water trail including the scenery, history, and array of wildlife,” said Daniel Peterson, chief of interpretation, education and outreach for the National Park Service’s Missouri National Recreational River. The water trail begins at Fort Randall Dam near Pickstown and extends 147 miles to Sioux City, Iowa.
Settled along the Nebraska-South Dakota border, a 98-mile section of the Missouri River, from Fort Randall Dam at Pickstown, to Ponca State Park, is the Missouri National Recreational River (MNRR). Established in 1978, the MNRR is a partnership park working with communities, tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and private landowners to preserve the cultural and natural resources associated with the river.
Similar to Yellowstone National Park, the Missouri National Recreational River is a public park for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. One of seven National Park Service units in South Dakota, it contains national heritage areas, historic trails, and two free-flowing segments of the Missouri River.
The National Water Trails System is a grassroots effort that relies on local management of the designed water trails. The National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program is the primary administrator that works in partnership with a collaborative interagency group. Designation of national water trails help to strengthen local efforts for recreation, conservation, and restoration of America’s waterways and surrounding lands.
For information about this event, the park and its neighbors, or to volunteer, visit www.nps.gov/mnrr; call 605-665-0209 or visit park headquarters located off of Second Street in Yankton Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.