The idea was simple. Connect people to the coast by opening up access to Nassau County’s waterways for paddle crafts. Making it happen, however, was an exercise in perseverance. Ten years after Long Islanders Kyle Rabin and Mike Fahling proposed a kayak trail, the South Shore Blueway is officially open.
On Saturday, June 4, appropriately National Trails Day, paddlers celebrated the South Shore Blueway with a dedication and ribbon cutting at Bay County Park in East Rockaway. Kayakers, canoers and SUPers received a waterproof South Shore Blueway Trail Map and participated in the inaugural paddle from Bay Park to Hewlett Point Park and back.
The trail contains 22 launch sites and landings that provide safe, easily reached water access for paddlers to explore the western bays of the South Shore Estuary Reserve.
Rabin helped coordinate the access points with Going Coastal and Cameron Engineering & Associates. Going Coastal is a nonprofit that works to raise awareness for coastal environmental and encourage a sense of community around coastal areas. Together they spent a year going over data, meeting with municipalities, doing on site research and meeting with stakeholders to come up with the trail. Their hope is that the trail will highlight community connections, encouraging residents and visitors to enjoy recreational, educational and scenic experiences that promote healthy lifestyles and are environmentally sustainable.
Get out there and paddle.