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published May 2020

Improving the Sustainability of the Appalachian Trail

by U.S. Geological Survey

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is a unique internationally recognized protected natural area encompassing more than 250,000 acres and a 2,190-mile footpath from Maine to Georgia.


published Dec 2019

The Influence of Layout on Appalachian Trail Soil Loss, Widening, and Muddiness

by Jeffrey Marion with U.S. Geological Survey, Jeremy Wimpey, Ph.D. with Applied Trails Research

This research investigates the influence of layout and design on the severity of trail degradation.


published Feb 2019

National Trails System Reference Manual 45

by National Park Service

This document is designed for National Trails System partners: Federal trail administrators, local land managers and landowners, volunteer partners, and State and Tribal agencies. It focuses on America’s national scenic and historic trails with only brief mention of national recreation trails and connecting-and-side trails. It provides background to Director’s Order #45, National Trails System (see Section 2.6).


published Dec 2018

FAQ: How does a trail get recognized as a National Scenic Trail?

National Scenic Trail designation is a rare and prestigious achievement that has been awarded only 11 times since 1966.


published Sep 2015

Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Interpretive Plan

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) Interpretive Plan guides the development and implementation of information, orientation and interpretation for the CDNST. Specifically, this plan includes interpretive goals, objectives, themes, exhibit recommendations, and design guidelines for interpretive efforts associated with the trail.


published Jan 2015

National Scenic and Historic Trails Strategy and Work Plan

by Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) National Landscape Conservation System Office is pleased to provide you with the National Scenic and Historic Trails (NSHT) Strategy and Work Plan. The purpose of this national-level strategy is to provide a 10-year framework for the development of program guidance and direction for improved management of the BLM’s NSHT Program.


published Dec 2014

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Foundation Document

by National Park Service

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.


published Apr 2014

Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Trailhead Design Guidelines

This document provides guidelines to help managers make decisions in a sustainable manner for major trailheads all along the CDNST. Overall principles given here relate to all trailhead sites. However, they also include more detailed guidelines specific to the highly varied settings along the Continental Divide.


published Jul 2012

National Scenic and Historic Trail Administration

by Bureau of Land Management

This manual provides the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) policy and program guidance on administering congressionally designated National Trails as assigned by the Department of the Interior within the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) and this manual describes the BLM’s roles, responsibilities, agency interrelationships, and policy requirements for National Trail Administrators


published Feb 2011

FAQ: The difference between a National Historic, Scenic and Recreation Trail

by American Trails Staff

The difference is usually ones of scale, significance, and administration responsibility and how they are designated.


published Jan 2010

Appalachian Trail Conservation Guidebook

by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

A Conservation Guidebook For Communities Along The Appalachian National Scenic Trail


published Sep 2009

The 2009 Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan

by USDA Forest Service

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.