Here are the 19 trails to receive the national recreational trail designation this year:
• The Mt. Umunhum Trail in California; Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park Trail System in Florida
• Fort Larned Historic Nature Trail in Larned
• Fort River Birding and Nature Trail in Massachusetts
• Iron Ore Heritage Trail and North Western State Trail in Michigan
• Cannon Valley Trail in Minnesota
• Wilson’s Creek Greenway in Missouri
• River’s Edge Trail in Montana
• Climax Canyon Nature Trail in New Mexico
• Guadalupe Ridge Trail in New Mexico and Texas
• Martin Van Buren Nature Trails in New York
• Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail in Pennsylvania
• Blackberry Trail in South Dakota
• Bays Mountain Park Trail System in Tennessee
• Salado Creek Greenway in Texas
• Corona Arch in Utah
• Wright’s Mountain Trails in Vermont
• Dahlgren Railroad Heritage Trail in Virgina.
LARNED — Continuing the expansion of recreational opportunities on public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke Thursday designated 19 National Recreation trails in 17 states, including one at Fort Larned National Historic Site. The action added more than 370 miles to the national recreation trails system of more than 1,000 trails in all 50 states.
“We are both excited and pleased that the history and nature trail at Fort Larned NHS has been designated a National Recreation Trail,” Ft. Larned Superintendent Betty Boyko said of the Fort Larned Historic Nature Trail. “We hope this designation will encourage the public to explore the trail, learn about the history and wildlife in the area and at the same time, enjoy the healthy benefits associated with walking or hiking the trail.”
On the grounds of Fort Larned National Historic Site, this 1.1-mile loop trail highlights history and nature. Fort Larned is located on the historic Santa Fe Trail and on the Central Flyway, a major bird migration corridor.
There are 15 stops along the trail corresponding to detailed information in the trail guide. A variety of habitats provide opportunities to view numerous species of birds.
“By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Secretary Zinke. “Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country.”
Time to enjoy the trails
On Saturday, June 2, hundreds of organized activities are planned as part of National Trails Day, including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications. Trails of the National Recreation Trails system range from less than a mile to 485 miles in length and have been designated on federal, state, municipal and privately owned lands.
“The network of national recreation trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, I hope everyone will take advantage of a nearby national trail to hike or bike.”
While national scenic trails and national historic trails may only be designated by an act of Congress, national recreation trails may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture in response to an application from the trail’s managing agency or organization.
The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, in conjunction with a number of Federal and not-for-profit partners, notably American Trails, which hosts the National Recreation Trails website.
Each of the newly designated trails will receive a certificate of designation, a set of trail markers, and a letter of congratulations recognition from Zinke.