filed under: feasibility studies
A 1966 study headed by Stuart Udall on the feasibility of a National Trails System
In April 1965 Secretary Udall requested the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation to take the lead in a nationwide trails study. This assignment was made in response to President Johnson's Natural Beauty Message of February 8, 1965, in which he called for development and protection of a balanced system of trails — in the Nation's metropolitan areas as well as in the countryside — in cooperation with State and local governments and private interests.
He called for such a trail system to help protect and enhance the total quality of the outdoor environment as well as to provide much needed opportunities for healthful outdoor recreation.
The President said:
The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride horseback, or bicycle. For them we must have trails as well as highways. Nor should motor vehicles be permitted to tyrannize the more leisurely human traffic.
Old and young alike can participate. Our doctors recommend and encourage such activity for fitness and fun.
I am requesting, therefore, that the Secretary of the Interior work with his colleagues in the Federal Government and with State and local leaders and recommend to me a cooperative program to encourage a national system of trails, building up the more than hundred thousand miles of trails in our national forests and parks.
There are many new and exciting trail projects underway across the land. In Arizona, a county has arranged for miles of irrigation canal banks to be used by riders and hikers. In Illinois, an abandoned railroad right-of-way is being developed as a "Prairie Path." In Mexico utility rights-of-way are used as public trails.
As with so much of our quest for beauty and quality, each community has opportunities for action. We can and should have an abundance of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding, in and close to our cities. In the back country we need to copy the great Appalachian Trail in all parts of America, and to make full use of rights-of-way and other public paths.
A four-member Steering Committee was appointed to conduct the study. The Steering Committee, representing four Federal agencies, consisted of: Daniel M. Ogden, Jr., Assistant Director for Planning and Research, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, Department of the Interior, chairman; Hamilton K. Pyles, Deputy Chief, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture; Theodore L. Swem, Assistant Director, Cooperative Activities, National Park Service, Department of the Interior; and Eldon F. Holmes, Chief, Recreational Staff, Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior.
In formulating a nationwide trails program, the Steering Committee's objectives were to:
Published September 16, 1966
This feasibility study examined the development of a multi-use rail with trail along the State-owned railroad, as well as a number of alternate routes. This study does not recommend specific routes, but highlights the possibilities for further consideration by the involved individuals and communities.
The Sheepskin Trail, a rail-trail project is a proposed 34 mile bicycle/pedestrian path that will extend from Dunbar Township to Point Marion Borough at the Pennsylvania/West Virginia state line. The intent of this study update is to utilize and update the 1999 Feasibility Study as necessary based on changes to the trail corridor that have occurred in the past 18 years.
This plan establishes the purpose and need for action to develop the Neches River National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge opened on April 13, 2019.
The purpose of this study is to present options for the development of a recreational and economic resource for the Adirondack region between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.