Kayakers and residents should soon be able to call the river running through Milstead and the Georgia International Horse Park an official water trail.
Once paperwork is completed, Yellow River will become an established water trail as designated by the Georgia River Network.
A "water trail" is the aquatic version of a nature trail. The idea is to make the river fully accessible for such recreational uses kayaking, canoeing, paddle-boarding and fishing. Recreation also would boost the local economy and improve conservation efforts, the group says.
Yellow River Water Trail (YRWT) was in the developing stage for two years, according to Gwyneth Moody, community programs coordinator for Georgia River Network. She said there are 13 established Georgia water trails and eight that are still developing.
The Yellow River flows 53 miles between Gwinnett County and Jackson Lake in southern Newton County, including through Rockdale.
With the kayak launch open and in use, YRWT met all the criteria to be an established trail and be listed on the Water Trails Clearinghouse, a central location for information about existing water trails in the state. An established trail must also be sponsored and maintained by a local entity, be a source of conservation and have an educational component.
Established water trails are noticed more by residents and tourists, Moody said.
Yellow River Water Trail began two years ago as a group of kayakers in Porterdale in Newton County. It is now forming as an official nonprofit organization and is being trained by the Athens-based Georgia River Network.
The Water Trail group already has a good relationship with the Georgia International Horse Park on Centennial Olympic Parkway, which allows kayakers to access the river at the back of the park.
The YRWT will hold "Mellow on the Yellow" events at the Porterdale entrance to the Yellow River this Saturday, July 12, and August 16, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., located at 1109 Main Street, Old Train Depot, Porterdale. For more information, call 770-364-0911.