9 New National Recreation Trails Added to the National Trail System

Nine new National Recreation Trails in 9 states, adding 340 miles to the National Recreation Trails system of more than 1,300 trails in all 50 states.

by American Trails Staff

 

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced the designation of nine new National Recreation Trails in nine states, adding 340 miles to the national recreation trails system of more than 1,300 trails in all 50 states.

“This National Trails Day, I encourage everyone to explore one of the national scenic, historic or recreation trails that make up the National Trails System,” said Secretary Haaland. “These trails offer an abundance of opportunities to experience the breathtaking landscapes of our country, all while supporting outdoor recreation activities and boosting local economies.”

The designations are part of the celebration of National Trails Day, June 3, 2023. Activities planned for the annual event include hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications.

“National recreation trails, including these new designations, are some of our country’s highest caliber trails and provide close-to-home recreation opportunities and the benefits of spending time outdoors,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “They can be used by everyone and provide for the ever-increasing recreation needs of our growing population, especially in urban areas.”

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 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 2023:

 

Vernon Bush Garden Trail

Alabama - The Vernon Bush Garden Trail is a one-mile loop that cuts through wooded areas and has views of the beautiful Lake Guntersville. It offers the residents and visitors of Jackson County an opportunity to exercise and enjoy the scenic views or enjoy a picnic at one of the many picnic tables and benches located around the trail.

Razorback Greenway

Arkansas - The Razorback Greenway consists of 40 miles of shared-use paved trails connecting seven communities throughout the Northwest Arkansas region and providing access to world-class art museums, multiple downtown entertainment districts, parks, and classic Ozark Mountain scenery.

Harris Greenway Trail

Georgia - Harris Greenway Trail is a 5.7-mile paved multiuse trail with a 760-foot boardwalk that connects Tribble Mill Park and Harbins Park, while also providing access to nearby residences, schools, and trails, including the Harbins Park Trail System (already a National Recreation Trail). The trail is named after Lloyd Harris, one of many visionaries who helped lead the way to conserve greenspace in Gwinnett and establish our world-class system of parks and public lands.

photo credit: Steven Pereira
The 40-mile Razorback Greenway, Arkansas

The 40-mile Razorback Greenway, Arkansas

Fabulous Fox! Water Trail

Illinois & Wisconsin - The nationally designated Fabulous Fox! Water Trail straddles the border from southeast Wisconsin to northeast Illinois. The trail offers 158 miles of paddling through gorgeous Midwest towns and landscapes including prairies, forests, farms, and bluffs. There is River access at more than 70 public locations, many are in vibrant communities with restaurants, historical and cultural amenities to enjoy. Plan your adventure today! Visit fabulousfoxwatertrail.org for detailed itineraries, access site information and downloadable river map segments.

Crown Zellerbach Trail

Oregon - The Crown Zellerbach Trail is a 22 mile mostly-gravel trail connecting the towns of Scappoose and Vernonia Oregon through the wetlands of the Columbia River and the gentle, forested hills of Oregon's lush Coastal Range. Also known as the Crown Z Trail and CZ Trail, it follows mostly gentle grades originally built for a logging railway but later widened for logging trucks. This created a wide forest path suitable for today's hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians.

Enterprise South Nature Park

Tennessee - Enterprise South Nature Park offers 70 miles of walking and cycling paths, ranging from beginner to advanced, through heavily wooded and varying terrain just minutes from an urban area. Relax and enjoy nature at one of the various viewing and picnic areas in the park.

photo credit: Fox Valley Park District
Fabulous Fox! Water Trail, Illinois & Wisconsin

Fabulous Fox! Water Trail, Illinois & Wisconsin

Wilson Creek Trail

Texas - The Wilson Creek Trail system winds parallel to Wilson Creek through the City of McKinney, spread out across 500 acres through several extraordinary community parks, creating a multifaceted hub with a wealth of recreational diversity and naturalist adventures. The existing trail system features many intertwined trails, trail segments, and loops measuring about 10 miles of concrete and natural trail surfaces and plenty of unparalleled amenities and recreation opportunities for all ages, abilities, and interests.

Iron Hills Trail System

Utah - What Started as a 4.5-mile loop has transformed into a 29-mile trail system that has placed Cedar City, Utah on the map as a premier mountain bike destination. The Iron Hills Trail System welcomes non-motorized users of all kinds. With 14 trails to choose from and access to each from the city's non-motorized paved path network, trail users can conveniently choose either an all-day or after work adventure whenever they please.

Old Highway 131 Trail

Wisconsin - Old Highway 131 Trail is a 4.5 mile shared-use trail at the heart of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve trail system. Formerly a highway connecting small, lumber and farming-dependent communities along the Kickapoo River, today the paved asphalt trail is designated for non-motorized use and connects to a wider trail system of over 50 miles of natural surface trails within the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, a nature preserve, under co-management by the State of Wisconsin and the Ho-Chunk Nation. Located in the Driftless Area Ecoregion, the trail is open seasonally to bikes, equestrians, hikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

The 9.95-mile Wilson Creek Trail, Texas

The 9.95-mile Wilson Creek Trail, Texas

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 Secretary 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 and National Recreation Trail Database.

More National Recreation Trails

Explore over 1,300 trails that make up the NRT system.

Is your trail a good candidate for National Recreation Trail designation? This page will tell you the requirements and how to nominate your trail.

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