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THE NATIONAL RECREATION TRAILS (NRT) program works to preserve and celebrate our nation's pathways. We invite you to explore America’s great national system of trails and greenways.
See the year by year Annual NRT Designations page
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See the state-by-state index of Featured National Recreation Trails
Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton announced the designation of 37 new National Recreation Trails in 23 states, as part of the National Trails System on June 4th, 2005.
"The Interior Department plays a vital role in the public land recreation network, managing one-fifth of the land in the nation," Norton said. "National trails are a significant part of that outdoor network, providing an excellent opportunity for visitors to reconnect with nature and stay active and healthy in the process."
Today's announcement of 37 National Recreation Trails in 23 states totals about 580 miles. Since becoming Interior Secretary in 2001, Norton has designated 128 National Recreation Trails at a total of approximately 3,400 miles.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR Wetlands Loop Trail near Denver
This year, National Trails Day is expected to bring one million trail enthusiasts out to events happening nationwide. Planned activities include guided hikes, bike rides, volunteer trail clean up projects and other trail celebrations. This year's theme "Take the Path to a Healthier You," continues to target the health benefits of outdoor recreation. Together with American Hiking Society (AHS), the National Park Service (NPS) and other agency partners, businesses, organizations, and individuals are putting on events aimed at highlighting the health benefits of enjoying the country's trails. National Trails Day offers a variety of activities for all ages and encourages families to get ready for summer by hitting the trails together.
Along with inclusion in the National Recreation Trails System, each of the 37 trails announced today will receive a certificate of designation and National Recreation Trail markers. There are now more than 900 National Recreation Trails that have been designated throughout the United States, totaling more than 10,000 miles.
National Recreation Trail designation is an honor given out to those existing trails that have been nominated and meet the requirements for connecting people to local resources and improving their quality of life. The national trail designation is part of a continuing campaign to promote community partnerships and to foster innovative ways to encourage physical fitness. The National Trails System Act of 1968 encourages the Secretary of the Interior to recognize existing community trails that qualify as additions to the National Trails System. The Act promotes enjoyment and appreciation of trails and greater public access.
For more great photos of NRTs, see the photos and dozens of entries in the NRT Photo Contest, sponsored by American Trails.
Visit some of the wide variety of designated NRTs in Bureau of Land Management areas.