filed under: current issues


September 11th National Memorial Trail

New Trail Being Discussed for 20th Anniversary

An effort is underway to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 with a memorial trail that traverses 1,300 miles.

A bill has been introduced to congress and will be voted on in July which would designate a 1,300 mile memorial trail for the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. This trail already has a website, 911trail.org, which describes the trail and their mission as, "The September 11th National Memorial Trail is a 1,300-mile system of trails and roadways that symbolize resiliency and character while linking the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The trail serves as a tribute to the fallen heroes who perished on September 11, 2001, and the many heroes who committed themselves to the response for their country. The 9/11 Trail is also good for our health, local economies, and the environment. The Trail offers walkers, runners, and cyclists a safe, accessible opportunity to experience beautiful landscapes, discover new towns, and visit historic sites of American resilience along the way. The nonprofit September 11th National Memorial Trail Alliance works closely with local, state and federal governments, federal agencies, and fellow trail organizations to make the 1,300-mile vision a reality."

photo credit: 911trail.org

One way to support this effort is to sign up for the free trail challenge. "Looking for motivation to get out there walking, running, or biking? Challenge yourself to walk, run, and/or bike 1,300 miles, the length of the entire September 11th National Memorial Trail. ​Register for the free challenge and follow along on our tracker, which points out some of the sights you’ll pass with links for more information and photos. Notify us as your mileage brings you to each of the 9/11 memorial sites and we’ll send commemorative swag.

You'll begin at the austere, two-acre September 11th Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. From here you’ll head northwest, beginning a clockwise tour of the roughly triangle-shaped September 11th National Memorial Trail. The multi-use route connects the three national September 11th memorial sites: the Pentagon; the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania; and the museum and reflecting pools at the World Trade Center in New York City. In between you’ll pass the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields. You’ll travel along beautiful canal paths and urban greenways. In Pennsylvania you’ll count hundreds of rural miles and climb some foothills. On the last of three legs, you’ll check off major cities: New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and your finish in Washington, DC."

You can also visit their page for suggestions on how to contact your congressional representatives to support this memorial trail.

The suggested route for the 9/11 Memorial Trail

The suggested route for the 9/11 Memorial Trail

Published July 13, 2021

More Articles in this Category

Design for Understanding: Protecting Trail Users in the Time of Covid-19

Don Meeker, president of Terrabilt, reflects on trails as a critical sanctuary during COVID-19, and provides guidance on signage to keep everyone on trails safe. Terrabilt will also provide the production artwork for their COVID-19 trail sign for free.

Remembering Joe Taylor

Longtime American Trails board member Joe Taylor passed away 12/03/2020.

Solutions to Homelessness on Trails

In August of 2020 American Trails held a webinar called "Balancing Recreational Area Use with Homelessness and Vagrancy." This webinar discussed how the city of Modesto, California dealt with the challenge of homelessness and vagrancy in their parks and trails. These are some key takeaways from the webinar.