2014 MN State Water Trails Tourism Summit -Sept. 29 & 30, 2014
The Minnesota Water Trails Tourism Summit took place in St. Cloud on Sept. 29 and 30 and brought together over 140 community representatives and paddling enthusiasts from across the country. The summit was the first of its kind in the nation, bringing together tourism and outdoor recreation interests to build communities’ capacity to promote paddle sports.
One the first day of the summit, 75 attendees paddled the Beaver Islands area of the Mississippi River, a state designated Wild and Scenic stretch of the river south of the dam in St. Cloud. Other attendees visited the St. Cloud Outdoor Endeavors program and Clear Waters Outfitting Company to learn more about the economic impacts of paddle sports.
Educational sessions included “Creating a Paddle-Friendly Community”, “Paddlesport Event Planning” and “Connecting Youth to the Outdoors on Water Trails.” A Resource Guide was prepared for the Summit and is available by clicking here.
Planning partners for the summit were the DNR, Explore Minnesota Tourism, Minnesota Canoe Association, Clear Waters Outfitting Company, Conservation Corps Minnesota, National Park Service, St. Cloud State University and the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Summit was made possible in part by the generous support of several sponsors: Northstar Canoes, who donated a 17’ canoe as a door prize, Bending Branches (paddle manufacturer), Clear Waters Outfitting Company, National Park Service, Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota, and Wenonah Canoe.