4 Western States Have Trails Added to National Register

Sunday, May 31 2009 15:10   Trails
The federal government has designated 22 trails in 13 states - including trails in California, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas - as newly recognized National Recreation Trails, adding more than 525 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 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."

This announcement was timed to coincide with the 17th annual celebration of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 6, 2009.

The theme for this year, "Take In the Outdoors," encourages people of all ages to get outside and use trails for exercise and exploration. Thousands of trail enthusiasts will participate in hikes, educational programs, bike rides, volunteer repair projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications across the country.

National Recreation Trails (NRTs) have been a touchstone of the National Trails System since the first designations in 1971. The NRTs recognize existing trails and trail systems that connect people to local resources and improve their quality of life.

NRTs link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the Nation. These designations contribute to "A Decade for the National Trails, 2008-2018," commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System in 2018. These trails join a network of more than 1,050 previously designated trails that total more than 12,500 miles.

The NRT 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, which hosts the National Recreation Trail website at

For 2009, the following trails in the West have been designated as National Recreation Trails:

San José Trail Network - Three connecting trails, the Guadalupe River Trail, the Highway 237 Bikeway, and the Coyote Creek Trail North provide 16.4 miles of recreation opportunity in San Jose.

Pioneer Nature Trail - This 1.3-mile trail at Council Grove Lake is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Two trail loops features upland woodlands, tallgrass prairie, and the remnants of buffalo wallows.

Niobrara Scenic River, Ft. Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge Section - This 5.6-mile river segment offers visitors a unique scenic recreational floating experience. The river cuts a deep canyon in the limestone rocks that underlie Nebraska's famed Sand Hills.

Cameron Park Trails - This 20-mile system of trails in Waco features handcrafted bridges, varying terrain, views of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers from 100-foot cliffs, bamboo forests, and cedar groves. It is home to mountain bike races, community events, and weekly walks, bringing more than $1 million per year to the local economy.


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