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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.
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Secretary Jewell, National Park Service Director Jarvis Announce 6 New National Recreation Trails
On June 3, 2016, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the designation of six local and state National Recreation Trails to the National Trails System.
“By designating these new National Trails, we recognize the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Jewell. “Our world-class network of national trails provides easily accessible places to enjoy 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.”
“The network of national recreation and water trails offers expansive 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, paddle 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 newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers and a letter of congratulations from Secretary Jewell.
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.
The following trails were designated as National Recreation Trails for 2016:
Shetucket River Water Trail (CT)
The 67-mile Backbone Trail connects the largest publicly owned natural and scenic parks within Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The trail was created through the decades-long efforts of many partners including California State Parks, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, and the National Park Service. Approximately 17 million Southern Californians live within an hour’s drive of one of the trailheads. View details of this trail in the NRT database.
Shetucket River Water Trail
The Shetucket River flows through The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor in Windham and New London Counties. The water trail offers 20 miles of paddling within an hour’s drive of three of New England’s largest urban and metropolitan regions. The major tributaries of the Shetucket River, the Quinebaug River to the east and Willimantic River to the west, have previously been designated National Recreation Trails. View details of this trail in the NRT database.
Bartram Trail in Putnam County
John Bartram and his son, William, were naturalists and authors who explored the St. Johns River in the 1700s. Their legacy inspired the creation of a combined 250 miles of hiking, cycling, and paddling trails with related driving tours. A wealth of online resources facilitates planning for adventures within this slice of rural Florida. View details of this trail in the NRT database.
Bartram Trail in Putnam County (FL)
Johnson Brook Trail
This 3.5-mile trail is located at the Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Northern Maine National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Penobscot County. The loop traverses through a mixed hardwood/softwood forest. Numerous boardwalk sections allow visitors to experience the forested wetlands that surround Sunkhaze Bog. View details of this trail in the NRT database.
Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area Trails
The Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is located seven-miles from downtown Tulsa. The Red, Blue, and Yellow Trails provide 6.7 miles of marked trails for beginner to advanced hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and equestrian riders. The trail system winds along cliffs overlooking the Arkansas River and past ponds and rock gardens into the heart of the heavily wooded wilderness. View details of this trail in the NRT database.
Roche Harbor Trails
The 9.1 miles of trails at Roche Harbor Resort on San Juan Island link a variety of natural features and cultural resources including open pastures, Northwest forests, water views, wildlife habitats, pond-filled quarries, restored nineteenth-century lime kilns, and the historic hotel. The trail system connects with the trail to English Camp at San Juan Island National Historic Park. View details of this trail in the NRT database.
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: