American Trails is the nongovernmental organization responsible for supporting the NRT program. We manage the national database of NRTs and will soon be implementing several new programs oriented around celebrating its 50 years of success and building the foundation of success for the next 50 years.
Explore almost 1,300 trails that make up the NRT system.
The 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.
The National Trails System Act of 1968 authorized creation of a national system of trails comprised of National Recreation Trails, National Scenic Trails and National Historic Trails.
National Recreation Trail applications are processed on an annual cycle. Applications to the Department of the Interior must be submitted by November 1. Applications on US Department of Agriculture lands have their own, separate application process. Applications to the National Water Trails System follow the Department of Interior schedule.
American Trails is seeking motivated volunteer Trail Ambassadors that are willing to visit as many of the National Recreation Trails in their region as possible over the next year, to gather data and identify issues on these great trails.
American Trails sponsors the annual Photo Contest for designated National Recreation Trails. In celebration of these great trails, we are presenting awards in several categories to highlight the diversity of NRTs, from backcountry trails to urban greenways.