In 2006, St. Joseph County designated Michigan’s very first Heritage Water Trail. This pilot project was an
effort to develop a system of canoe and kayak routes celebrating Michigan’s natural and historic resources.
In early 2014, the St. Joseph County Commission developed a vision to build on the Heritage Water Trail
program by increasing and improving access to all of the County’s rivers and creeks. The Water Trail
Master Plan will help identify and recognize the value of the riverfront assets of Saint Joseph County as a
public recreational resource, a source of great environmental value, and a catalyst for meaningful economic
development through increased tourism and enhanced property values throughout the County.
St. Joseph County boasts over 150 miles of waterways, more of them navigable than any other county in
Michigan: a state known for its abundance of water. The county is home to six major rivers and numerous
smaller creeks, providing recreation opportunities for all manner of boaters and fishermen, habitat for wildlife
and fish, and irrigation for a thriving agricultural industry. However, many of the county’s river access points
are on private property with little or no amenities for those wishing to enjoy this treasured natural resource.
Click on the link below to view/download the complete master plan.