To promote outdoor recreation and reconnect Americans to nature, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced the recognition of 19 hiking and biking trails and two water trails as national recreation trails, adding 452 miles in 11 states to the National Trails System.
"I can think of no better way to celebrate National Trails Day than to support the efforts of local communities by formally recognizing these exceptional trails as national recreation trails," Jewell said. "They provide easily accessible places to get exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas, and promote our goal of encouraging all Americans, especially youth, to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors."
On Saturday, June 7, 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.
"The National Trails System connects Americans with federal, state and local lands and nationwide," Jarvis said. "As we celebrate National Trails Day, this network of more than 16,000 miles continues to grow and offer new opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors."
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 other federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails website.