Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Mary Mertz has designated the Tuscarawas River in eastern Ohio as the state’s 15th official water trail during a small ceremony Friday in Uhrichsville.
 
“The Tuscarawas River Water Trail will bring communities together and provide awesome paddling experiences while encouraging environmental awareness,” Director Mertz said. “Whether looking for that big catch or a relaxing paddle, the water trail offers something for people of all ages.”

Director Mertz joined the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) Executive Director Craig Butler for the first official paddle on the newest state water trail. The MWCD partnered with communities and local governments in four counties to make this water trail a reality. All parties involved will continue to contribute to the access and maintenance of the river trail. 

“The Tuscarawas River has a rich history and has supported commerce and agriculture for generations. It is one of the main tributaries in the MWCD and is a great addition to the other recreational opportunities we offer at our parks,” Butler said. “We look forward to seeing you on the water.”

The 112.5-mile Tuscarawas River Water Trail offers paddlers the opportunity to explore an additional 112 miles of waterway once it joins the Muskingum River Water Trail in the City of Coshocton. 

A water trail is a stretch of waterway that has been identified as a recreational resource with maps, signage, and informational resources that show official access points, amenities, and safety information. Water trails promote public use of waterways and create educational, recreational, and environmentally rewarding opportunities for paddlers and others. These trails support tourism and encourage conservation and stewardship.

Ohio’s diverse system of water trails is statewide and includes the Blanchard, Cuyahoga, Great Miami, Kokosing, Mahoning, Maumee and Olentangy rivers. These water trails pass through a variety of surroundings including natural, rural, suburban and urban areas. 

ODNR recommends that visitors check weather conditions before getting on the water and always wear a life jacket. Learn more about how to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19 while paddling here.
 
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov