Prepare to Launch! 

Guidelines For Assessing, Designing & Building Access Sites For Carry-In Watercraft 

Prepare to Launch! is a resource designed to help facility and trail planners and park and recreation project leaders plan and build or update an access site tailored to the needs of canoeists, kayakers, tubers, stand-up paddlers, or small craft sailors. It guides a reader  through the development process from conception to design creation, and provides a variety of launch construction options. 

Prepare to Launch! is available in four distinct formats to serve you and sharing with others in your office, meeting or in the field:

  1. Web version: Organized by chapter, featuring photo galleries and linked resources. Best for viewing online, via a tablet or mobile device.

  2. E-book:  Easy to use online book.  Best for skimming all contents.

  3. Interactive PowerPoint Presentation (.pdf format): Can be downloaded to access interactive features. Best for presenting to audiences.

  4. Chapter Breakdown (.pdf format)See below for links to each chapter. Best for easy downloading.

Introduction / Table of Contents

Introduction / Table of Contents

Chapter One: Characteristics of a Launch Site

Ch.1 - Characteristics of a Launch Site

Chapter Two: Three Steps to a Desired Launch

Ch.2 - Three Steps to a Desired Launch

Chapter Three: Launch Design Types Part 1

Ch. 3 Part 1 - Launch Design Types

Chapter Three: Launch Types - Part 2

Ch. 3 Part 2 - Launch Design Types

References / Glossary

Resources / Glossary

Prepare to Launch! is a joint project of the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program and the River Management Society, and is an update to Logical Lasting Launches RMS and NPS appreciate and thank the river users, managers, and professionals staff across the country who have contributed to this updated guide.  Enjoy, learn and let us know what you think of this collaborative effort!