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TPWD News Release — June 2, 2010

Neches – Davy Crockett Paddling Trail to Debut June 5

Lufkin — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, The Conservation Fund, The Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce will join together on Saturday, June 5, to christen the state’s newest Texas Paddling Trail. The dedication event is scheduled for 1 p.m. at North Boggy Slough, located off Highway 7 west of Lufkin.  The dedication will coincide with the 13th annual Neches River Rendezvous.

 "The Neches River represents a huge economic opportunity for Lufkin as more and more people look for ways to enjoy the natural beauty of our area," said Mayor Jack Gorden. "The Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail will become known statewide and draw people looking to experience the last wild and scenic river in Texas."

The Texas Paddling Trails program, coordinated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, works with communities to develop public paddling trails throughout the state and support these trails with maps, signage and other information.  Shelly Plante, the department’s nature tourism coordinator, adds, "The trails help promote habitat conservation through sustainable economic development, while providing additional recreational opportunities to the public. More Americans canoe, kayak or raft than play soccer, making it one of the fastest-growing nature tourism experiences."

This 9.2 mile trail makes a perfect half-day paddle.  The trail stretch is bordered in the west by the Davy Crockett National Forest boundary.  Paddlers along the Neches might see deer, alligators, otters and many bird species such as Barred Owl, Belted King Fisher, Wood Ducks and more.

 "Our new Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail is a dream come true and will give people of all ages from all parts of Texas and the nation access to one of the best days of their lives," said Ellen Temple, a member of the trail planning team.  "Our trail offers towering pines and oaks, countless nesting warblers and other songbirds."

"“We are delighted to add the Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail to our list of attractions in Lufkin.  We are proud to be a part of this dedication and are excited to welcome more visitors to the area to see what all Lufkin has to offer," said Tara Watson-Watkins, executive director for the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"The development of the Davy Crockett Paddling Trail sprung from a community-wide demand for greater access to the Neches River and from a desire to diversify the county’s economic base through nature tourism, as identified in the Angelina County Green Infrastructure Plan," said Julie Shackelford of The Conservation Fund’s East Texas office, who worked with the county and its cities to develop the plan.  "The Trail will help make the region a destination for visitors and residents alike seeking a fabulous outdoor adventure."

For more information about the Neches-Davy Crockett Paddling Trail visit http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/paddlingtrails/ or www.visitlufkin.com

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