31 National Recreation Trails Added

Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar has announced the designation of 31 trails in 15 states as national recreation trails, adding more than 716 miles of trails to the National Trails System. The announcement came just before the American Hiking Society National Trails Day® on June 5, 2010, when trail dedications and other activities took place at new and existing trails.

“From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors,” said Salazar. “These new national recreation trails, built through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, will create new opportunities for fitness and stewardship while creating a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren.”

In announcing the new designations, Salazar highlighted two important initiatives established by President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to encourage Americans to enjoy the great outdoors as part of a healthier lifestyle.

Last month, President Obama launched the “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative” to protect special places and to help Americans reconnect to the outdoors. Under his leadership, the administration is reaching out to communities across the country to hear good ideas about conservation and to learn about the efforts that ordinary Americans are making to conserve our land, water, and wildlife.

Meanwhile, the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative is promoting a healthier lifestyle for children by encouraging them to eat healthier foods and become more physically active.

“I hope that millions of Americans will take advantage of the opportunities provided by our national trails to embrace a fuller, healthier lifestyle,” Salazar said.

The 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. The first ones were established in 1971.

Each of the trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from Secretary Salazar, and national recreation trail markers. The trails join a network of more than 1,000 previously designated trails that total more than 12,500 miles.

The national recreation trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails website at http://www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails.

The National Trails Day® is produced by the American Hiking Society.  This year was a record breaking event.  “The volunteer participation and energy surrounding American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® celebrations were immeasurable!” notes Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society.  “Thousands of trail enthusiasts came out to hike, bike, paddle and provide volunteer service across all fifty states and Puerto Rico, demonstrating that Americans really do care about our Great Outdoors.”  Make a commitment and put on your calender to volunteer next year on Saturday, June 4, 2011.

Here is a complete list of the  31 trails that have been designated as national recreation trails organized by state:

ALABAMA

  • Canoe and Kayak Trail Limestone County Alabama
  • Doc Hilt Trails
  • The Eastern Shore Trail
  • Minooka Park Trail System
  • The Richard Martin Trail
  • Smith Lake Park Walking/Bike Trails
  • Sportsman Lake Trails
  • Stony Lonesome OHV Park Trail System
  • Veterans Park Trail

DELAWARE

  • James F. Hall Trail

FLORIDA

  • Blackwater Heritage State Trail
  • Nature Coast State Trail
  • Tallahassee-St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

IDAHO

  • Weiser River Trail

ILLINOIS

  • Kaskaskia River Confluence Trail

IOWA

  • Des Moines River Water Trail – North Section (Cottonwood to Birdland Park Access)
  • Des Moines River Water Trail – South Section (Harriet Street to Yellow Banks)

KANSAS

  • Gary L. Haller Trail – Mill Creek Streamway Park

MISSISSIPPI

  • Spyglass Hill Trail

MISSOURI

  • Black River Hike & Bike Trail
  • South Creek Greenway

MONTANA

  • Drinking Horse Mountain Trail

NEVADA

  • River Mountains Loop Trail

NORTH CAROLINA

  • Highlands Plateau Greenway

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Cumberland Valley Rail Trail
  • Mason-Dixon Trail
  • Three Rivers Heritage Trail
  • Three Rivers Water Trail

TEXAS

  • Knob Hills Trail
  • Lacy Point Nature Trail

WASHINGTON

  • Spokane River Centennial Trail
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