TAVARES — The Lake County Board of County Commissioners unveiled a new website today at www.paddlelake.com that focuses on promoting Lake County’s eight designated Blueways, or waterway trails, located within the areas of the St. Johns River, Golden Triangle, Palatlakaha Basin and Oklawaha Basin.
The website features an interactive map, safety tips and a listing of upcoming paddling events. Also included are descriptions, statistics, images and downloadable guides for each run. Visitors to the site will also find areas where images and first-hand testimonials can be submitted by users of the trails.
The website and printable guides were a joint effort between the Department of Public Resources, Parks & Trails and Tourism & Business Relations Divisions, as well as the Department of Information Technology, Information Outreach Division and Lake County Water Authority.
“We’re excited to promote Lake County Blueways to visitors,” said “Greg Mihalic, Lake County’s Director of Tourism & Business Relations. “Now with the website and brochures, we have the tools needed to market this valuable asset.
A blueway is similar to a hiking trail. Physical and geo-positioned markers guide trail users through the waterways. An ideal blueway trail also includes an abundance of scenery and wildlife as well as easy canoe and kayak access. The Lake County Community Blueways Project identifies scenic waterways that feature nearby amenities for paddlers.
Each zone offers a different experience for trail users. For example, the Golden Triangle Run skirts along the lakefronts of Tavares and Mount Dora and is a shorter trail suitable for casual or novice users. Several of the St. Johns River trails are categorized as “wilderness” Blueways as these runs are located in remote, undeveloped areas and offer paddlers hiking and camping opportunities.