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Each year nominations for designation of new National Recreation Trails may be submitted. The NRT Program recognizes trails that provide opportunities for all Americans to enjoy the out-of-doors and improve the quality of life of our communities.
Visit the National Recreation Trails website
Search over 1,200 National Recreation Trails in the online database
See the state-by-state index of Featured National Recreation Trails
On June 4, 2015, 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.
The following trails were designated as National Recreation Trails for 2015:
Sackets Harbor Battlefield History Trail (NY)
Autauga Creek Canoe Trail
Part of the Alabama Scenic River Trail network, this 13-mile canoe trail on Autauga Creek is fun for all ages. Kayaks and canoes share the spring-fed and shaded Class 1 moving water with families floating on tubes, swimming, wading, splashing, playing fetch with their four-legged companions, and fly-fishing. The most popular 3-hour paddle begins right behind Prattville’s City Hall. Sections with swift, narrow channels challenge paddlers with twists and turns past cypress knees and old downed trees.
The Tanglefoot Trail
Mississippi's longest rails-to-trails conversion, the Tanglefoot Trail is a ten-foot wide asphalt multi-use trail meandering 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 the larger municipalities and provide restrooms, water fountains, picnic tables, and parking. The path was blazed by Native Americans, followed by early explorers, and 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 Hoover Dam, operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. The trail is constructed on an old railroad grade that goes through five over-sized tunnels used during the construction of Hoover Dam. There are outstanding views of Lake Mead, Boulder Basin, Fortification Hill, massive crystalline rock formations, and the rugged Mohave Desert. Interpretive panels along the trail provide educational information.
Sackets Harbor Battlefield History Trail
Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site is located on the eastern end of Lake Ontario, overlooking Black River Bay. The 0.75- mile loop trail at the site provides recreation and education. Ten interpretive panels along the trail tell the stories of the pivotal role of the battle during the War of 1812, the 1860’s Navy Yard, and the importance of historic preservation. The trail connects to the Village of Sackets Harbor’s War of 1812 Bicentennial recreation trail for additional history and enjoyment.
Chinqua-Penn Walking Trail
Located near Reidsville on property belonging to the NC 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 a prized historic Black Angus herd grazes. Crops are tested in fields alongside farm roads once used as carriage trails. The trail has been featured by physicians’ offices and health centers for its health and fitness benefits. It is used for nature study by Scouts, school groups, youth groups, and 4-H campers.
George Poston Park Trail System
The trails at George Poston Park are a collaborative effort between Gaston County Parks and Recreation and the Piedmont Area Singletrack Alliance (PASA). 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 flat trail and short mileage. The system was built primarily for mountain biking but has become a popular destination for runners, hikers, dog walkers, and nature enthusiasts.
OHIO, PENNSYLVANIA, WEST VIRGINIA
Ohio River Water Trail
The 69-mile Ohio River Water Trail (ORWT) supports recreation and appreciation on 46 miles of the Ohio River, 3 miles of the Beaver River, 4 miles of Raccoon Creek, and 16 miles of Little Beaver Creek. Multiple partners manage twenty-one access points connecting thirty-two riverfront communities from Pittsburgh, PA to Newell, WV and East Liverpool, OH. The trail honors the rich history of the waterways, enriches the present, and provides a precious gift to future generations.
Snoqualmie Valley Trail (WA)
Mount Si Trail
At a short 40-minute drive from Seattle, the 4-mile Mount Si Trail is one of the most popular hikes in the Pacific Northwest. The main summit of the 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 and perhaps most majestic trail parallels the Snoqualmie River for more than 31 miles from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake just outside of North Bend. The 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, as it did in the railroad days, connecting multiple rural communities and a number of other regional trails.
Tribal Heritage Crossing of the WIOUWASH Trail
This 1.8-mile multimodal path is a safe and informative way for runners, walkers, bikers, and in-line skaters to cross the causeway bridge over Lake Butte des Morts at Oshkosh. The Kiosk centers at overlooks along the trail offer information on each of Wisconsin's eleven Native American tribes, the history of the lake, and the natural history of the area. Access to fishing is provided. The trail connects to the WIOUWASH State Trail on the north end of the causeway.
Secretary Jewell and National Park Service Director Jarvis Announce 10 New National Recreation Trails
“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 DOI Secretary 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.”
“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 other federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.
About the National Recreation Trails program
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 the Secretary of Interior or Secetary of Agriculture, and a set of trail markers.
The National Recreation Trails 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 www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails.
For more about the new designations and details of many featured trails, please visit: