NWI Paddling Association Puts Region on Nation’s Map!

NWI Paddling Association

Turning clogged rivers and underutilized waterways into paddling destinations, the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association put the region on the nation’s map, said Dan Plath, president and co-founder of Indiana’s only non-profit paddling association.  Over 165 miles of waterways have been developed by the 600-member club that received the top national award from the American Canoe Association. Organized and launched in 2009, the idea of new ways to explore Northwest Indiana came to Dan in the early morning hours. One of his best ideas was the Burnham to Marquette Water Trail Expedition in cooperation with paddlers in Chicago. The idea of paddling along the shoreline from Chicago to Michigan City was to draw attention to establishing the Lake Michigan Water Trail with rest stops along the route. This idea of a 1600 mile trail was so audacious it led to national and regional coverage. This event in 2009 resulted in the national designation of the first 75 mile leg of the Lake Michigan Water Trail from Chicago to New Buffalo. Other plans include a second water trail involving the Little Calumet River in the National Lakeshore and surrounding communities. Yet another is bi-state initiative to win national trail designation for the 133 miles of the Kankakee River. “We want people to appreciate and become good stewards of our water assets,” Dan said, who is a principal for NiSource in the Environmental, Safety and Sustainability Department

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