–Northwest Discovery Water Trail-7c-About the Water Trail-History

History

Designation Events

Bonneville Ribbon Cutting, August 26th, 2005 

Bonneville Dam links the Northwest Discovery and Lower Columbia River Water Trails, together offering over 500 miles of river travel. During the Taste of Lewis and Clark festival held at the Dam, visitors and dignitaries, including Washington Congressman Brian Baird and Washington State Parks DirectorRex Derr, boarded the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the lock. As the crowded Sternwheeler approached the lock at Bonneville Dam, two volunteers hoisted the ribbon strung from lockwall to lockwall over the jack staff flag pole and onto the deck of the moving boat, where water trail partners and guests cut the ribbon and celebrated the opening and connection of the two water trails.

Mosier Fall Festival, September 3rd, 2005

At Mosier’s Labor Day weekend community picnic, Washington Water Trails Association installed the first Northwest Discovery Water Trail marker on the Columbia River at the newly established Rock Creek launch site. Mosier is a small Oregon town but a big destination for windsurfers and, in the near future, it will be a prime stop on the Northwest Discovery Water Trail, where travelers can restock supplies or simply enjoy the town’s shops and restaurants.

Clearwater Cleanup, September 24th, 2005

The free-flowing, rapid waters of the Clearwater River rush water trail travelers through a deep canyon. For years, agencies and community members have worked to rid the Clearwater of junked cars and abandoned appliances that marred the beauty of the river. The Nez Perce Tribe and eight other partnering businesses and agencies teamed up to remove some of the last remnants of riverside junk from the Nez Perce Reservation near Lapwai, Idaho. The project was not your average litter pick up. Volunteers attached large pieces of contorted rusted cars to a boom crane, which then lifted automobile parts from the riverbank and into a container bound for the recycling center.

Heritage Paddle, October 15th, 2005

Indicative of the growing interest in paddle sports in Eastern Washington, the Tri-Cities Heritage Paddle drew 48 people in kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and sailboats. Participants made a 12½-mile journey from Columbia Point Marina to Sacajawea State Park, with stops along the way for designation ceremonies at public access points. Pushed along steadily by a strong tailwind, boaters arrived early at Sacajawea State Park in time to enjoy the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Heritage Days festivities, an opportunity to learn about traditional living and water travel from the pioneer reenactment camps and authentic Wanapum village.

Trace the Trail, October 16th, 2005 

At sunrise, a crowd of 150 gathered in Hat Rock State Park for a ceremony led by members of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Two hundred years ago, Lewis and Clark had given tribal members peace medals; on this day the Confederated Tribes reversed the roles, presenting their own medals to representatives from the Northwest Discovery Water Trail. Twenty-nine boaters launched from the park, paddling past steep basalt rock forms decorated with mud-crafted cliff swallow nests. When the flotilla reached its first stop at McNary Beach, six miles down the Columbia River, white caps and building wind ended the planned lock through of McNary Dam.

Clearwater River Designation & Float, June 10th, 2006 

On June 10th, river enthusiasts and friends of the Northwest Discovery Water Trail gathered at the Pink House Recreation Site in Orofino, Idaho to honor the Clearwater River and designate the water trail. After a ceremony and gift exchange with representatives of the Nez Perce Tribe, commissioners from Nez Perce and Lewis Counties installed a water trail marker. Escorted by Nez Perce and Clearwater County Sheriffs, participants boarded rafts and floated 19 miles of the fast-flowing Clearwater.

Trace the Trail II, September 23rd, 2007 

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The September 23rd “Trace the Trail II” event was a great success! Thank you to the City of Umatilla, Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard Auxillary, McNary Yacht Club, and citizen volunteers for making the paddle a safe and one-of-a-kind event.