Hikers, rejoice! Just in time for National Trails Day (June 6), the National Park Service has added 150 miles of state and local trails to the National Recreation Trail system. In all, the park service added new segments all around the country.
In advance of National Trails Day this Saturday, June 6, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis designated 10 local and state trails as national recreation trails, adding more than 150 miles to the National Trails System.
“By designating these exceptional trails as part of the National Trails System, we recognize the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “Our world-class network of national trails provides easily accessible places to get exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while also boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities in local communities across the country.”
On Saturday, June 6, hundreds of organized activities are planned as part of National Trails Day, including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications. A listing of activities is available on the American Hiking Society's website.
“Our National Trails System of 16,000 miles continues to grow and offer new opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors,” said Jarvis. “With summer here, I hope everyone will take advantage of a trail nearby to hike or bike. It’s a great family outing and an opportunity to fill your lungs with fresh air and enjoy the beauty of the world around us.”
National recreation trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. Each of the new national recreation trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from Secretary Jewell, and a set of trail markers.
Both the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture have the authority to approve designations in response to an application from the trail's managing agency or organization.
The national recreation trails program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails website.
Secretary Jewell designated the following 10 trails this year as national recreation trails:
Autauga Creek Canoe Trail
The 13-mile canoe trail on Autauga Creek, part of the Alabama Scenic River Trail network, provides opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, floating on tubes, swimming, wading, splashing, and fly fishing. A popular three-hour paddle begins right behind Prattville’s City Hall. Paddlers will enjoy sections with swift, narrow channels that twist and turn past cypress knees and old downed trees.
The Tanglefoot Trail ™
Mississippi's longest Rails-to-Trails conversion, The Tanglefoot Trail ™, is a 10-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail that meanders 43.5 miles from Houston to New Albany through the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area. “Whistle Stops” serve as entrances to the trail in between larger municipalities and provide restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, and parking. The path, blazed by Native Americans and followed by early explorers, became the route of the railroad built by Col. William C. Falkner, great-grandfather of author William Faulkner.
Historic Railroad Trail
This 3.5-mile, multi-use trail connects the National Park Service’s Alan Bible Visitor Center within Lake Mead National Recreation Area with the Bureau of Reclamation’s Hoover Dam. The trail, constructed on an old railroad grade that goes through five tunnels used during dam construction, offers outstanding views of Lake Mead, Boulder Basin, Fortification Hill, massive crystalline rock formations, and the rugged Mohave Desert. Panels along the trail provide educational information.
Sackets Harbor Battlefield History Trail
This three-quarter-mile loop trail provides recreational and educational opportunities for visitors to Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, located on the eastern end of Lake Ontario overlooking Black River Bay. Ten panels along the trail tell the stories of the pivotal role of the battle during the War of 1812, the 1860s Navy Yard, and the importance of historic preservation. The trail connects to the Village of Sackets Harbor’s War of 1812 Bicentennial Recreation Trail.
Chinqua-Penn Walking Trail
Located near Reidsville on property belonging to the North Carolina Upper Piedmont Research Station, this 1.7-mile loop winds through old-growth forest, skirts two ponds, and follows the fence lines of pastures where prize Black Angus cattle graze. Crops are tested in fields alongside farm roads once used as carriage trails; and scouts, school groups, youth groups, and 4-H campers use the trail for nature study.
George Poston Park Trail System
The trails at George Poston Park represent a collaborative effort between Gaston County Parks and Recreation and the Piedmont Area Singletrack Alliance. The stacked loop trail system features tight technical climbs and quick descents with beautiful runs along natural creeks, rock gardens, and thick woods. The Kid’s Bike Trail offers beginners a feel for the Poston woods with a flat trail and short mileage. The system, built primarily for mountain biking, has become a popular destination for runners, hikers, dog walkers and nature enthusiasts.
OHIO, PENNSYLVANNIA, WEST VIRGINIA
Ohio River Water Trail
The 69-mile Ohio River Water Trail supports recreation on 46 miles of the Ohio River, three miles of the Beaver River, four miles of Raccoon Creek, and 16 miles of Little Beaver Creek. Multiple partners manage 21 access points connecting 32 riverfront communities. The trail honors the rich history of its associated waterways, enriches the present, and provides a precious gift to future generations.
Mount Si Trail
Just a 40-minute drive from Seattle, the four-mile Mount Si Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Pacific Northwest. The main summit of this iconic mountain reveals stunning views of Snoqualmie Valley, the Seattle skyline, and the Olympic Mountains across Puget Sound. The trail’s many switchbacks serve as a training ground for aspiring mountaineers, yet its wide path allows families to get a real taste of the rugged Cascades.
Snoqualmie Valley Trail
King County’s longest trail parallels the Snoqualmie River for more than 31 miles from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake just outside of North Bend. This majestic trail passes through forests, historic sites and farmland, providing a scenic path for bicycling, walking and horseback riding. The route was once a spur line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Today the trail continues to serve as an arterial route, connecting multiple rural communities and a number of regional trails.
Tribal Heritage Crossing of the Wiouwash Trail
This 1.8-mile multimodal path provides a safe way for runners, walkers, bikers and in-line skaters to cross the causeway bridge over Lake Butte des Morts at Oshkosh. Kiosks at overlooks along the trail offer information on each of Wisconsin's 11 Native American tribes as well as the natural history of the area, including the lake. The trail provides access to fishing and connects to the Wiouwash State Trail at the north end of the causeway.