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Paddling Trail to Open April 14th

The South Llano River is often called "our river" by local residents. Why? Because we grew up living near it, swimming, fishing, and paddling in it, having family and social gatherings along its banks, and drinking its waters. True, its waters belong to the state of Texas and the public, but we also call it "our river" because no others appreciate its beauty and care about it as we do. As more of the public discovers the South Llano River, those who already know of its value, want to help others share in the preservation of this treasure, while respecting those who live along it.

On Saturday, April 14th, the South Llano Paddling Trail, starting at the South Llano River State Park and ending at the Junction City Park, officially opens. On that day, in conjunction with the Kimble County Wise Living Event, the partners of the SLPT will hold an official launch and river clean up to celebrate the beauty of the South Llano River. The opening of the paddling trail will help the public learn to enjoy, protect, and respect the river.

Anyone who would like to participate in the launch should gather at the Junction City Park below the bridge near the old rock wall and boat ramp at 8:00 am on April 14th. Canoes and kayaks will be furnished for participants by Fun In the Sun Canoes, South Canoes & Kayaks, and the TTU Center.

At 8:30 am there will be a ceremony and overview of the paddling trail. After the ceremony all participants will be shuttled in outfitters' vans to the South Llano River State Park for the official launch and ribbon cutting. (Outfitters have park permits). Any participants using their own boats are responsible for their own park permits and shuttling.

The official South Llano Paddling Trail launch will begin with a ribbon cutting at the state park bridge at approximately 9:30 am. Participants will then paddle down river to the Junction City Park collecting litter and trash along the way. "Up to You" river trash bags will be provided by the Junction Tourism Board. At the city park, the litter and trash will be separated into recyclables and non-recyclables. All participants are asked to practice and exhibit proper boating safety (PDF's), behavior, respect private property, and to provide their own drinking water.

The South Llano Paddling Trail partners are the City of Junction, Kimble County, Texas Tech University at Junction, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and the South Llano Watershed Alliance. For more information contact Scott Richardson at 325-475-2271.

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