Gregg County receives grant for work on 53-mile paddling trail, recreation areas along Sabine River
GREGG COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - It’s already there, why not use it? That’s what several East Texas cities and the Gregg County commissioner’s court have decided about the Sabine River. They have taken their first steps to developing a Sabine River Paddling Trail.
“All in favor signify by saying aye,” said Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt in commissioner’s court.
“Aye,” said attending commissioners.
“All opposed? Motion passes,” Stoudt said.
And with that, the court under Judge Stoudt voted to advertise for qualified engineering firms to apply to design parks to be built on the banks of the Sabine River for a paddling trail.
“For a 53-mile track along the Sabine River that we’re going to turn into a kind of recreational use of the river,” Stoudt said.
Judge Stoudt believes some people just don’t want to get near the river.
“It’s got a bad rap. There’s great fishing in the Sabine River. There’s beautiful sights along the Sabine river that you’ve really got to be on the river to see,” Stoudt said.
Stoudt pointed out that the paddling trail will be a partnership.
“It’s a joint project with the City of Longview, the City of Kilgore, Gladewater. I think that the other cities that are along the river, they’re included in this. So, we’re excited. We think it will turn into a really nice recreational facility for the community,” Stoudt said.
He said they’ll improve access points along the river that will make it more inviting for use.
“There will be some picnic areas in those areas where they are now. Eventually there will be restroom areas. Basically, just a small park along the river that families can come out and enjoy,” Stoudt said.
The judge said they’ll most likely develop three existing boat ramps next to TxDOT bridges in Gregg County. Right now, if you want to use those areas it’s B.Y.O.P.T. (Bring Your Own Picnic Table).
Gregg County has already received a $75,000 grant from the Sabine River Authority for the engineering of the parks. There is presently no completion date for the project.
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