To celebrate last Saturday’s National Trails Day, the National Park Service added nine new trails—totaling 340 miles—to the National Trails System. The designation was given to multiple trail systems in the South, including Georgia’s Harris Trail Greenway, which connects parks in Gwinnett County.
Also recognized, Enterprise South Nature Park, which features a 70-mile network of biking and walking paths just outside of Chattanooga, Tenn. Additional designations were given to trails in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, and Utah.
The National Trails System now includes more than 1,300 miles of trails in every state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
“These trails offer an abundance of opportunities to experience the breathtaking landscapes of our country, all while supporting outdoor recreation activities and boosting local economies,” said Deb Haaland, the U.S. interior secretary, in a statement.
The system was established as a result of the National Trails System Act of 1968, which “calls for establishing trails in both urban and rural settings for people of all ages, interests, skills, and physical abilities, according to the NPS.
Trails in the system are managed cooperatively by the park service, local agencies, and nonprofit groups.
“National recreation trails, including these new designations, are some of our country’s highest caliber trails and provide close-to-home recreation opportunities and the benefits of spending time outdoors,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams, in a statement. “They can be used by everyone and provide for the ever-increasing recreation needs of our growing population, especially in urban areas.”
Located in southeast Wisconsin to northeast Illinois, the Fabulous Fox! Water Trail is one of the newly designated national recreation trails. Photo by Karen Miller/ Courtesy of the National Park Service