Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the designation of 31 trails in 15 states as National Recreation Trails, adding more than 716 miles of trails to the National Trails System.
"From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "These new National Recreation Trails, built through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, will create new opportunities for fitness and stewardship while creating a lasting legacy for our children and grandchildren."
Each year nominations for designation of new National Recreation Trails may be submitted. The NRT Program recognizes trails that provide opportunities for all Americans to enjoy the out-of-doors and improve the quality of life of our communities. The trails which are designated are announced in the first week of June as part of National Trails Day events.
With nine trails added to the National Trails System, the state of Alabama scored the highest number of newly designated National Recreation Trails.
The Highlands Plateau Greenway was the only trail to be designated in the Great Smoky Mountains region. The Highlands Plateau Greenway is located roughly 35 miles south of Cherokee in Highlands, North Carolina, the highest incorporated town east of the Mississippi. The 5-mile network of continuous walking trails connects natural areas and historic sites for educational and recreational opportunities. Straddling the Eastern Continental Divide in a temperate rainforest, the area boasts the highest floral and faunal diversity in North America. Because of this unique environment, landscaping along the trail with plants native to the southern mountains is a major focus.
You can find the complete list of newly designated National Recreation Trails by clicking here.
HikingintheSmokys.com Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, and more.