How To Paddle The Southeast Atlantic Coast

April 19, 2013


Kayaking in South Carolina. Photo by Graham Dean/Flickr

New website maps continuous water trails from Virginia to Georgia

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Today, a coalition of federal, state and private agencies officially launched a new website for the Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail (SECT):  First introduced at the East Coast Paddlesports & Outdoor Festival, the new SECT website will be the primary source for all-inclusive information on navigating the coastal water trails of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.  Featuring detailed maps that highlight access sites, lodging and supply centers, paddlers can now travel an unbroken trail of tidal marshes and rivers more than 760 miles along the coasts of all four states.

To create this one-stop tool for boaters, the  National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) teamed up with a number of agencies, including the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, The Conservation Fund, the Coastal Regional Commission of Georgia, the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission.

For the truly adventurous paddlers, the SECT also provides a connection between two well-known regional trails: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail that stretches from Virginia to Delaware and the Florida Circumnavigational Saltwater Paddling Trail, which extends from the Georgia-Florida border all the way around the state to the west end of the Florida panhandle. What could be called the ‘Appalachian Trail of water trails,’ boaters can now follow these three regional trails for approximately 5,275 miles through nine states.  

SE Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail logo“The new Southeast Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail website is a comprehensive resource that will not only make planning a trip by boat within or between states much easier for avid paddlers, it will also provide useful information for outdoor-lovers of all ages to get out and enjoy recreational boating in the Southeast,” said Justin Boner, Real Estate Director for North Carolina with The Conservation Fund.

RTCA is currently gathering information for maps and routes in Mississippi and Alabama to extend the regional water trails along the Gulf Coast.

The partners of the SECT are especially grateful to Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission and SC Department of Natural Resources for spotlighting the new SECT website at the Paddlesports Festival. 

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect your favorite places before they become just a memory. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. Top-ranked, we have protected more than 7 million acres across America.

Press Release Contacts

Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | 703-908-5809 |

Charlotte Gillis, National Park Service, 404-507-5692