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.
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 3,700 miles long, extending from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon, following the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The trail connects 11 states (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon) and many tribal lands. The trail was established by Congress in 1978 as part of the national trails system (NTS) as one of four original national historic trails. Today, visitors can follow the approximate route of the Corps of Discovery (Lewis and Clark Expedition members) by exploring the trail using a variety of transportation methods and interpretive means.
The goal of the National Trails System Act (NTSA) is to provide for the ever-increasing outdoor recreation needs of an expanding population and promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the nation.
Published September 2012
posted Aug 23, 2023
What would it take for all Americans to be able to go out their front doors and within fifteen minutes be on trails that wind through their cities, towns or villages and bring them back without retracing steps?
posted Aug 13, 2020
The purpose of this study is to provide baseline historical information pertaining to those portions of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail that cross onto lands managed by the FWS at the White River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Arkansas, the Wheeler NWR in Alabama, and the Tennessee NWR in Tennessee.
posted Feb 19, 2019
February is Black History Month, and a perfect time to shine a light on some well known, and some lesser known, ways in which African Americans have helped shape our nation's trail and park history.
posted Jul 1, 2007
Equestrians over the decades have recognized the threats to access and places to ride, and joined the fight for trails across America.