As part of the festivities surrounding National Trails Day, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Director of the National Park Service Jonathan B. Jarvis announced the designation of 54 trails as national recreation trails, adding almost 1,400 miles of trails to the National Trails System. Spanning 23 states, the land and water trails provide opportunities for communities to connect to the great outdoors.
“Today’s trails join a network of more than 1,150 previously-designated trails that span more than 13,650 miles,.” said Director Jarvis. “As we celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, I encourage everyone to explore a trail – new or old – and enjoy the natural world.”
The national trail system has become so extensive that if all the trails were laid end to end they would cross the entire country more than four times, offering millions of Americans opportunities to bike, hike, paddle and spend time with their family and friends outdoors, Jarvis noted.
The national recreation trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails.
Trails designated in the Smokies region include the Overmountain Victory Trail in North Carolina, as well as the East Lakeshore and Wolf River Greenway trails in Tennessee. To see a complete list of all 54 trails that have been designated as national recreation trails, please click here.