- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has designated the 133-mile Kankakee River Water Trail in northwestern Indiana and northeastern Illinois as a national water trail.

Jewell on Friday designated three national water trails and six local and state national recreation trails. The announcement in Washington came ahead of Saturday’s celebration of National Trails Day.

The Interior Department says the Kankakee River Water Trail traverses what was once one of the largest wetlands in the U.S. It says it boasts ample public access sites, thousands of acres of natural areas and preserves, remarkable wildlife, overnight camping for paddlers, many historic sites, and a high-quality sports fishery.

Jewell said in a news release the designation recognizes “the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

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