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America’s recreation trail system added new trails spanning 9 states, 340 miles

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The 50,000-mile National Trails System includes recreational, historical and scenic trails across the country. 

If you’re looking for new destinations to explore, America’s recreation trail system will grow 340 miles across nine states, the Department of the Interior announced Friday. 

Nine new trails were designated by Secretary of the U.S. Interior Deb Haaland to join the nation’s existing network of more than 1,300 recreation trails located in every state, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

The land and water-based trail network – created with the National Trails System Act in 1968 – offers “an abundance of opportunities to experience the breathtaking landscapes of our country, all while supporting outdoor recreation activities and boosting local economies,” Haaland said in a statement.

National recreation trails are existing local or regional trails that are designated by either the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture with the consent of the federal, state, Tribal, local, nonprofit or private managing entity.

According to the National Park Service, the system was created “for people of all ages, interests, skills and physical abilities” to have more access to the outdoors “in both urban and rural settings.” 

Alabama

See thousands of plants, flowers and trees along  at Jackson County Park’s one-mile Vernon Bush Garden Trail.

Arkansas

Explore the lush, tree-covered peaks of the Ozark Mountains along the Razorback Greenway — a 40 mile trail with access points to museums, historic sites, entertainment venues, lakes and local businesses spanning the northwest Arkansas cities of Fayetteville, Johnson, Springdale, Lowell, Rogers, Bentonville and Bella Vista.

Georgia

Named after Lloyd Harris, a pioneer who expanded the county’s public lands, the Harris Greenway Trail connects two parks on the outskirts of Atlanta with a paved trail spanning more than five miles. 

Oregon

The mostly-gravel, 22-mile-long Crown Zellerbach Trail  along the Columbia River wetlands and Coastal Range follows Oregon’s historic Portland and Southwestern Railroad. Along the path, horseback riders, runners and walkers of all ability levels can stop to read historical signs about the area.

“Whether it’s the history that ranges from Indigenous peoples, through the railroad era, to apple orchards; the rivers of molten rock and glacial floods that created the rock formations; or the local plants and wildlife, there is always something to learn about the trail,” the National Park Service wrote.

Tennessee

Enterprise South Nature Park in Chattanooga is Tennessee’s longest national recreation trail, includes 70 miles of trails through 2,800 acres of heavily wooded forests.

Texas

Wilson Creek Trail connects Bonnie Wenk Park and Towne Lake Park in McKinney, Texas with a nearly ten-mile route. The trail  provides access to recreation opportunities and connects to various local parks, community resources, and other local open spaces.

Utah

North of Zion National Park in southwest Utah, the Iron Hills Trail System is a 29-mile network of trails. It’s known for “premier mountain biking opportunities, but is also a popular destination for hikers, trail runners, equestrians, and wildlife viewers,” according to the U.S. Department of Interior.

Wisconsin and Illinois

Enter the 158-mile Fabulous Fox water trail along the Fox River in southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois at any of the roughly 70 access points.

Wisconsin

The Old Highway 131 Trail in Kickapoo Valley Reserve has “an extensive system of natural surface trails for equestrians, bikers, and hikers” in southwestern Wisconsin.

Source: usatoday

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