Welcome to The Blue Trails Guide

The Blue Trails Guide provides step-by-step instructions for developing a thriving blue trail in your community.

A blue trail is a dedicated stretch of river that enjoys special clean water safeguards and is a destination for fishing, boating, and other recreation. Blue trails, like hiking trails, help people discover rivers and provide a connection between urban and rural communities and the great outdoors. Blue trails provide a fun and exciting way to get youth outdoors and are economic drivers benefiting local businesses and quality of life.

This online guide will help your community discover, protect, and connect to the great outdoors through river restoration, protection, and recreation.

Blue Trails Photos

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American Rivers' Vision

Blue trails offer a perfect opportunity for children and adults alike to discover the natural world. They connect communities with each other and with America's trasured landscapes.

Blue trails provide a natural linkage between communities and the outdoors, rural and urban areas, developed areas and national treasures such as parks, refuges, and forests both upstream and down.

They also help connect us to our families by providing safe and healthy recreation and environmental education opportunities for people of all ages.

These experiences help connect us to special protected areas and build partnerships and support for the conservation of these special places. And with nearly every American living within one mile of a river or stream, the potential for blue trails is limitless.