In a hectic time, sometimes residents just want to get outdoors, away from the bustle of a hyper-technological world.

Thanks to Canoe Trail Goliad and partners from the state, the outdoors space just got a lot bigger, ideal for any potential adventurer.

The organization and its partners are finishing up the Riverdale Bridge boat launch site, which will add 12 miles to the previous 6 1/2 miles of padding trails throughout the county. The site is located at the Riverdale Bridge, south of SH 239 and west of Goliad proper.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Canoe Trail Goliad President Wilfred Korth. “I’ve been an outdoor recreationist all my life, I’m so glad to see things being developed to get people outside.”

Started with a vision in 2002 to find a way to get residents on the river, Korth’s group received some help from a state source right away.

“That was right around the time (Texas) Parks and Wildlife was pushing for official paddle trails in Texas,” Korth said. “So our goal then, and continues to be, get landing sites built on the river so citizens of Goliad county (and beyond) can have easy access to get down the river, enjoy our river.”

This will be the fourth landing site in the Goliad County area, following sites in such places as Goliad State Park and downtown Goliad on Ferry St. The current paddling trail runs from the U.S. 59 bridge to Goliad State Park, and will be boosted by the addition of the Riverdale landing.

Korth’s group has worked with both TPWD and the San Antonio River Authority in the implementation of the sites.

“The three of us developed an extensive master plan for what we wanted the trail to be. … We identified where future landing sites should be in the county, and then prioritize them,” he said. “The Riverdale site is the next landing on our priority list that we wanted done.”

Working with the River Authority has been a particular cause of excitement, as the organization is potentially working on a 200-plus mile trail, encompassing a large amount of land.

“They’ve been exceptional partners … their goal is to actually make the entire San Antonio river paddling trail from San Antonio all the way to Goliad,” Korth said.

The team is also working on their next priority, another landing at the SH 239 bridge upstream of Riverdale. This landing would add another 15 miles to the trail, making the paddling trail in the Goliad area around 35 miles in total. It would also be the farthest north landing site in Goliad County.

With all the excitement surrounding the new potential sites, as well as the completion of Riverdale, Korth reminds residents that the experience itself is actually rather docile, something outdoorsmen and women crave. He calls the trail a “good way to do a socially-distanced outdoor activity” during the time of COVID-19.

“The river in our county is calm, it’s an easy paddle for families and paddlers of all skill levels … because it’s such a rural county, when you’re on the river, you don’t see anyone else,” he said. “You don’t see commercial development on the river. It’s a nice natural paddle.”

For more information on Canoe Trail Goliad, visit www.canoetrailgoliad.com or call 361-542-0374.

•tleffler@mysoutex.com•

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