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House votes to maintain Gateways Networkhttp://www.bayjournal.com/article.cfm?article=3379California Coastal Conservancy: San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail [pdf]http://www.scc.ca.gov/Bay%20Program/Water_Trail/SFBAWT.htmAmerican Canoe Association: Water Trails Databasehttp://www.americancanoe.org/recreation/watertrails.lassoCongaree River Blue Trail Guidehttp://congareeriverbluetrail.blogspot.com/Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Trails Maphttp://www.openlands.org/watertrails.asp?pgid=11910 scenic spots with no carshttp://edition.cnn.com/2008/TRAVEL/getaways/07/08/no.cars/Most people are probably familiar with cultural trails and markers that point out land-based features and the like, but how about the world of water trails? It might strike some as odd to create a water trail, but an increasing number of organizations and government entities are doing just that. Essentially, a water trail creates a template for water-based travel, and usually for leisure excursions. Visitors are free to use the markers along the trail as they see fit, and follow them in any order they wish. One area that is fairly well documented is the San Francisco Bay, and the California Coastal Conservancy has been working on implementing a vast network of water trails. Many of the sites along this particular water trail had already been in use as picnic sites and so on, but this latest effort will offer visitors a more detailed vision for their future water-based explorations. Of course, these projects are going all around the country, so interested parties should browse around their own regions for like-minded efforts. Perhaps Conservancy project manager Ann Buell said it best when she recently opined "Having a water trail right here makes much more sense than driving off to some faraway lake to find your fun." The first link will take users to an article from this Tuesday's New York Times about the water trails in the San Francisco Bay. The second link leads to an article from the Chesapeake Bay Journal about a recent House of Representatives vote that created additional assistance for the Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network. Moving on, the third link leads to information on the plans for the San Francisco Bay Area Water Trail, provided courtesy of the California Coastal Conservancy. The fourth link leads to the American Canoe Association's Water Trails Database. Here visitors can learn about water trails in their own region and it may even spark an idea for an upcoming vacation or day trip. The fifth link leads to the very excellent online water trail guide to the Congaree River in South Carolina. The sixth link whisks users away to the equally fine interactive Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Trails map, complete with detailed information on each potential water trail. Finally, the last link leads to a nice feature from CNN Travel about 10 places where visitors will see nary a car, including Michigan's Mackinac Island and Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine.

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