The Department of the Interior designated National Recreation Trails in 17 states this week, improving the visibility and funding of lesser-known destinations.
Secretary Ryan Zinke urged Americans to go hiking on a National Recreation Trail this weekend as part of National Trails Day. And now there are 19 newly registered trails to choose from.
On Wednesday, Zinke announced the designation of 19 new National Recreation Trails (NRTs). The trails total 370 miles across 17 states. They range in size from the 1.1-mile Fort Larned Historic Nature Trail Loop in Kansas to the 100-mile Guadalupe Ridge Trail in New Mexico and Texas.
The trails already exist, but the designation provides a slew of benefits. Designated trails receive increased visibility, host events, and get NRT logo trail markers and inclusion in the NRT database.
Zinke made the announcement in light of the National Trails System’s (NTS) 50th anniversary. Since 1968, the NTS has designated more than 1,000 NRTs, spanning up to 485 miles in length.
National Recreation Trails: 19 Hikes, What’s Next?
Zinke sought to expand recreational opportunities on public lands with the announcement. Each year, the secretary of the interior designates new trails to the NTS.
“Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country,” said Secretary Zinke.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, I hope everyone will take advantage of a nearby national trail to hike or bike,” Zinke said.
Every year on National Trails Day, guided hikes, educational programs, bike rides, and trail rehabilitation projects take place on National Recreation Trails. So get out there this Saturday!
Other benefits of NRT designation include increased funding opportunities, with support from NRT program partners the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Program, and the USDA Forest Service Challenge Cost Share Program.
Trails Designated for National Trails Day
A complete list of NRTs is below. Go explore one this weekend for National Trails Day!
19 National Recreation Trails
- California: Mt. Umunhum Trail, 3.7 miles
- Florida: Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park Trail System, 20.85 miles
- Kansas: Fort Larned Historic Nature Trail, 1.1 miles.
- Massachusetts: Fort River Birding and Nature Trail, 1.1 miles
- Michigan: Iron Ore Heritage Trail, 47 miles
- Michigan: North Western State Trail, 32 miles
- Minnesota: Cannon Valley Trail, 19.7 miles
- Missouri: Wilson’s Creek Greenway, 5 miles
- Montana: River’s Edge Trail, 53 miles
- New Mexico: Climax Canyon Nature Trail, 3 miles
- New Mexico and Texas: Guadalupe Ridge Trail, 100 miles
- New York: Martin Van Buren Nature Trails, 3.7 miles
- Pennsylvania: Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail, 3.1 miles
- South Dakota: Blackberry Trail, 1 mile
- Tennessee: Bays Mountain Park Trail System, 40 miles
- Texas: Salado Creek Greenway, 15 miles
- Utah: Corona Arch, 1.5 miles
- Vermont: Wright’s Mountain Trails, 7.2 miles
- Virginia: Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail, 15.7 miles