The core components of this foundation document include a brief description of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the nature and purposes of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, significance statements, fundamental resources and values, and interpretive themes. These components are core because they typically do not change over time. Core components are expected to be used in future planning and management efforts.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail—commonly referred to as the A.T. and referenced throughout this document as simply the Trail—is a public footpath that traverses more than 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Mountains and valleys between Katahdin, Maine (northern terminus), and Springer Mountain, Georgia (southern terminus). The Trail winds through scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands along this ancient mountain range. More than 99% of the Trail’s corridor is protected by publicly owned lands.
The Trail has a celebrated grassroots origin. The A.T. idea gained momentum in 1921 with the proposals of Benton MacKaye, a regional planner from Massachusetts. He envisioned a trail as a means to preserve the Appalachian crests and to provide a retreat from increasingly industrialized modern life. The Trail was designed, constructed, and maintained in the 1920s and 1930s by volunteer hiking clubs, brought together by a volunteer-based nonprofit—the Appalachian Trail Conference, now known as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Formed in 1925 and based in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy continues to work in partnership with the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service (USFS), states, local communities, and a federation of 31 volunteer-led hiking clubs. This partnership, along with the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, combined forces to open a continuous trail by August 1937.
The national significance of the Trail was formally recognized in 1968, when the National Trails System Act established the Appalachian National Scenic Trail as one of the first national scenic trails in the United States. Specifically, this legislation directed the National Park Service, in consultation with the U.S. Forest Service, to administer the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The National Trails System Act was amended in 1978 to also authorize funds for the two agencies and the states to protect the entire route with public lands. Today, federal and state agencies remain important in the stewardship of the Trail, and volunteers maintain their long-standing and central role as the heart and soul of the Trail.
Published December 01, 2014
This Statewide Trails Strategic Plan and the State Trails Program aim to ensure that program direction and efforts are consistent with other cooperators, funders, stakeholders, and ultimately service the expectations and needs of Colorado’s residents and visitors.
In order to achieve the objective of establishing a continuous trail of the magnitude and quality of the CDNST, it is necessary to establish a formal process for integrating the CDNST requirements into the long-range land and resource management programs of the various Federal and State agencies. Such a process should be both faithful to the intentions and requirements of the National Trails System Act and compatible with the regulations and procedures under which the agencies must work.
The planned Hollow Rock Access Area is a multi-jurisdictional project to conserve significant natural and cultural resource lands along New Hope Creek and to make portions of the site available for low-impact recreational uses.
Every unit of the national park system is required to have a formal statement of its core mission that will provide basic guidance for all planning and management decisions—a foundation for planning and management. The development of a foundation document for the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is necessary to effectively manage the park over the long term and protect park resources and values that are integral to the purpose and identity of the park unit.