11 Trails in the West Added to National Recreation Trails System

Saturday, May 29 2010 03:00   Trails
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To help mark 2010's National Trails Day on June 5, eight states in the West have had a total of 11 trails designated as National Recreation Trails by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

The new National Recreation Trails in the West, along with 20 additional National Recreation Trails announced on May 25 by Salazar, add more than 716 miles of trails to the National Trails System.

The eight Western states are Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Texas and Washington.

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"From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors," said 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."

Every national park will waive entrance fees on the weekend of June 5-6 to help encourage people of all ages to get outside and use trails for exercise and exploration. In addition, hundreds of organized activities including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications will take place.

The national recreation trail designation recognizes existing trails and trail systems that link communities to recreational opportunities on public lands and in local parks across the nation. The first ones were established in 1971.

Each of the trails will receive a certificate of designation, a letter of congratulations from Secretary Salazar, and national recreation trail markers. The trails join a network of more than 1,000 previously designated trails that total more than 12,500 miles.

The following 11 Western trails (listed alphabetically by state) have been designated as National Recreation Trails:

IDAHO

Weiser River Trail
The Weiser River Trail is an 85-mile long rail-trail located between Weiser and New Meadows. It offers a variety of experiences for non-motorized trail users as it passes through desert canyons, evergreen forests, alpine meadows, and small towns. Highlights of the trail are the historic trestles and abundant wildlife. A notable annual group activity is the four-day "Wagon Train Ride," covering 60 miles between Weiser and Council.

IOWA

Des Moines River Water Trail - North Section (Cottonwood to Birdland Park Access)
This 8.8 mile section of the 19-mile Des Moines River Water Trail is a scenic, historical and natural experience with multiple access points between the Saylorville Dam in Johnston and Birdland Park in Des Moines, Iowa. Beautifully constructed informational kiosks stand at each access point providing information, maps and safety messages. The river corridor is on a major migratory flyway for numerous species and exhibits tremendous bird and wildlife viewing opportunities during all seasons.

Des Moines River Water Trail - South Section (Harriet Street to Yellow Banks)
This 10.25 mile section of the 19-mile Des Moines River Water Trail stretches between the Harriet Street Access and Yellow Banks County Park in central Iowa's Polk County. The trail serves a diverse group of trail users and connects rural and urban populations. Interest in the Des Moines River Water Trail has spawned many unique community involvement and stewardship activities. Partnerships amongst government agencies, clubs and organizations have provided recreation opportunities, a critical healthy community feature, and links with other trails.

KANSAS

Gary L. Haller Trail - Mill Creek Streamway Park
The Gary L. Haller Trail within the Mill Creek Streamway Park in Johnson County, Kansas, begins in Olathe and continues north through Lenexa and Shawnee. The scenic, multi-use, 17.5-mile trail was one of the first major trail facilities completed in the Kansas City metropolitan area. It has become a model for other communities in the region and has become a major regional attraction. In 2009, an innovative integrated system of addresses printed on signage was installed to provide a more rapid response for first responders within the 911 system.

MISSOURI

Black River Hike & Bike Trail
The Black River Hike and Bike Trail is a 3.25-mile paved and gravel trail that winds through the bottomland hardwoods and pines along the Black River below Clearwater Dam. The trail offers a great diversity of scenery. The 10-foot wide trail with five entry points is perfect for biking, jogging or taking a leisurely stroll.

South Creek Greenway
South Creek Greenway is an 8-mile paved linear park running through the middle of Springfield, Missouri. It is the quintessential urban trail, set in a natural landscape that's been carefully preserved within a heavily developed city. The trail provides numerous community benefits with its opportunities for bicycling, walking, running, skating, alternative transportation, environmental preservation and economic stimulus. It serves a range of income levels, ages, ethnicities and physical abilities. Innovative design features include native prairie restoration areas, a footbridge made of rumber (recycled tire lumber), and a 900-foot long highway overpass.

MONTANA

Drinking Horse Mountain Trail
A unique covered bridge serves as a beautiful gateway for this 2.2 mile trail near Bozeman, Montana. Climbing 700 feet from Bridger Creek through diverse vegetation and terrain to the summit of Drinking Horse Mountain, the figure-eight loop trail has a steep route for those who desire more intense aerobic exercise and an easier path for those who seek a leisurely stroll. Eight memorial benches and one memorial picnic table offer scenic vistas of the Gallatin Valley, Bridger Canyon, and surrounding mountain ranges.

NEVADA

River Mountains Loop Trail
The River Mountains Loop Trail is a 35-mile paved multi-use, multi-jurisdictional trail surrounding the River Mountains. It connects Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Boulder City, and Henderson to the rest of the Las Vegas Valley. The trail's success is due to collaboration and community involvement among an active coalition of public agencies, community groups, businesses and individuals. The trail is completely separated from highway traffic. Vistas along the trail are outstanding, and interpretive wayside exhibits provide educational opportunities.

The River Mountains Loop Trail is Nevada's first endeavor of its kind. When completed, the River Mountains Loop Trail will be approximately 35 miles in length and will surround the River Mountains connecting Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Hoover Dam, Henderson, Boulder City and the rest of the Las Vegas Valley, expanding recreational and alternative transportation opportunities for the region's growing population. For more information visit
www.rivermountainstrail.com .

TEXAS

Knob Hills Trail
Located on the west end of Grapevine Lake, near the City of Flower Mound, Texas, the 5.43-mile Knob Hills Trail is a natural surface trail that traverses the prairies and bottomland on the north bank of Denton Creek. Hikers and bicyclists share the trail with equestrians for part of its length

Lacy Point Nature Trail
The Lacy Point Nature Trail is a multi-use trail located on the west shore of Waco Lake. This is the only public interpretive trail in the region to offer signed access to horse riders, cyclists, bank fishermen and hikers between Fort Worth and Georgetown, Texas, on the busy I-35 corridor. The 19 miles of trail feature interpretive trail markers, directional maps at junctions, and picnic table access along the shoreline. Much of the trail is in the bottomland hardwood area (a greatly reduced ecosystem in Texas) with its year-round springs, old-growth Eastern Red Cedar, and much-needed shade from summer heat.

WASHINGTON

Spokane River Centennial Trail
The Spokane River Centennial Trail follows the beautiful, historic Spokane River for 37 miles from the Idaho state line to Nine Mile Falls, Washington. The paved trail is used both for commuting to work and for pleasure. Annually, more than two million people walk, run, bike, in-line skate, enjoy nature, observe wildlife, picnic on the river's edge, launch canoes, or just sit and contemplate the rhythmic flow of the river. It is an unusual and rare community asset, a free resource for the community, and a destination location.

The national recreation trail program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and nonprofit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the national recreation trails Web site at
www.americantrails.org/nationalrecreationtrails .


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