America gets 28 new National Recreation Trails

Hikers in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Appalachian Trail, one of America's National Trails

flickr, jaxx2kde

Twenty-eight trails have been newly designated as National Recreation Trails, Secretary of the Interior Jewell announced on the eve of National Trails Day on May 31, 2013. 

These existing trails were designated as recognition of their importance to communities nationwide that utilize them for recreation on public lands. The trails will add 650 miles to the National Trail System. 

Here is a list of the 28 new National Recreation Trails in 18 states:

  • Harvest Square Recreational Preserve Trail System in Alabama: 2.3 miles of trail invite hiking, biking, running, nature viewing, and volunteering at the Harvest Square Recreational Preserve, home to deer, turkey, raccoon, fox, beaver, and a variety of amphibians and reptiles.
  • Phenix City Riverwalk in Alabama: 1.2 miles of trail by the Chattahoochee River offers enjoyment for bike riders, fitness enthusiasts, runners, and walkers.
  • The Forever Wild Coldwater Mountain Trail System in Alabama: 11.5 miles of trail in the Forever Wild Coldwater Mountain Doug Ghee Nature Preserve and Recreational Area offers experiences for mountain bikers, trail runners, and hikers. 
  • Turkey Creek Nature Preserve Trail System in Alabama: three scenic nature trails totaling 2.13 miles are sure to delight hikers, bicyclists and wildlife viewers.
  • Nadeau Trail in California: 28-mile trail through steep mountain slopes and desert canyons for off-highway vehicles (OHV), wilderness hikers, backpackers and history buffs (the landscape preserves life in the mid-1880s).
  • Junction and Breakwater Trail in Delaware: 4-mile rail-trail on the southwestern side of Cape Henlopen State Park that follows a section of the former Penn Central Railroad connecting Lewes and Rehoboth Beach, providing an alternative route for travel between.
  • Northern Delaware Greenway Trail in Delaware: a 2.5-mile section in Brandywine Creek State Park provides the community with a safe place to be active and a 7.22-mile Wilmington section connects parks between the Delaware River and the Brandywine River. 
  • Pomeroy and Newark Rail Trail in Delaware: 4.18-mile trail with one million people living within 20 miles of it promotes activity while providing a route between Newark's central business district, city parks, the University of Delaware and White Clay Creek State Park.  
  • Chipola River Greenway in Florida: the 3.5-mile northern section called Butler Trail features unique rock formations, caves, sink holes, wetlands and rare wildlife, while 4 miles of trails in the Hinson Conservation and Recreation Area at the southern end is the product of a community effort.
  • Sugar Bottom Mountain Biking Trail System in Iowa: 13 miles of trail surrounding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Coralville Reservoir on the Iowa River considered to be the birthplace of mountain biking in Iowa.
  • Volksweg Trail in Iowa: Volksweg means “people’s path” and this one connects Pella metro area to Lake Red Rock on the Des Moines River, traversing timbered areas, restored prairies, pine plantations and open fields while offering spectacular views of the lake.  
  • General Dacey Trail in Illinois: 4-mile multipurpose trail that is the the result of and a catalyst for community involvement and partnership, offering opportunities for physical fitness, family gatherings, educational activites and wildlife viewing at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lake Shelbyville.
  • Timber Point in Maine: 1.4 miles in the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge near Biddleford Pool, with views of the Little River Estuary and Atlantic Ocean, also provides access to Timber Island via a land bridge at low tide.
  • Hellcat Interpretive Trail in Massachusetts: 1-mile trail enjoyed by over 120,000 visitors annually in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island that offers wildlife viewing opportunities in the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Site's diverse habitats. 
  • North Eastern State Trail (NEST) in Michigan: 71-mile trail that connects Alpena to Cheboygan as well as Aloha State Park and thousands of acres of state forest lands, and that is a section of both the state-designated snowmobile trail network and the northern lower peninsula's rail-trail network.
  • Pomme de Terre Multipurpose Trail, Missouri: nearly 20 miles of trail at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Bolivar Landing on the southern portion of Pomme de Terre Lake, providing enjoyment for horseback riders, mountain bikers and hikers.  
  • Running River Trail in Missouri: 3.1-mile trail that winds along the Pomme de Terre River in Outlet Park, a Healthy Active Community collaborative effort to provide opportunities for walking, jogging and biking.
  • Mud Pond Trail in New Hampshire:  0.6-mile accessible trail through forest and wetlands in the Pondicherry Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge offers opportunities to view unusual wildlife.
  • Sierra Vista Trail in New Mexico: 29-mile trail runs the length of the west side of the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, providing a convenient and relatively easy way to explore the Chihuahuan Desert.
  • Kings Mountain Gateway Trail in North Carolina: 5 miles of trail with views of Kings Mountain and Crowder’s Mountain for hikers, bikers and especially walkers - over 12,000 monthly.  
  • Kiski-Conemaugh Water Trail in Pennsylvania: a 88-mile water trail recovering from heavy pollution invites paddlers to travel to Johnstown Inclined Plane and the Conemaugh River Bridge, as well as through the Conemaugh Gorge as it cuts through Laurel Ridge.
  • Three Rivers Greenway in South Carolina: 6 miles of beautiful pathways where the Broad, Saluda, and Congaree rivers meet in Columbia entices visitors to jog, bike, fish, canoe, kayak and more.
  • Brownsville Historic Battlefield Trail in Texas: 9-mile hike and bike path runs through Brownsville and ends at Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park providing views of resacas (former Rio Grande River tributaries), palm trees, mesquites and wildlife.  
  • High Bridge Trail State Park in Virginia: 31-mile rail-trail for hiking, bicycling and horseback riding in Central Virginia includes the historic and noteworthy High Bridge over the Appomattox River - one of the 10 longest recreational bridges in the country. 
  • Tobacco Heritage Trail in Virginia: 2.6-mile segment of the Tobacco Heritage Trail in South Boston with views of Dan River and historic sites like the remains of a cotton mill, the Prizery, Diamond Hill (a former slave cemetery), and Berry Hill Plantation.
  • Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Water Trail in Wisconsin:  280 miles from Green Bay to Portage to the convergence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers, this water trail was the exploration route of Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet.

"From coast to coast, the National Trails System helps connect American families with the wonders of the great outdoors," said Secretary Jewell. "These 28 new national recreation trails, established through partnerships with local communities and stakeholders, connect federal, state and local lands and waters to provide access to inexpensive, enjoyable outdoor activities for all Americans.”

These designations are part of the America’s Great Outdoors program which promotes outdoor recreation to reconnect Americans to nature.

To find more trails near you visit