When the national scenic trails system was created four decades ago, the goal was to build a walking path across the United States.
That goal came closer to reality in March, when President Obama signed a bill creating the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail and two others. They are the first such trails designated in 26 years.
"The dream of a transcontinental pathway across America is 1,200 miles closer to reaching fruition," said Ron Strickland, a former Washington resident who first proposed the Pacific Northwest trial in 1970.
The trail will eventually run from Glacier National Park in Montana to the Pacific Ocean at Cape Alava in Washington. Portions of the trail have existed for centuries, and for the past three decades the nonprofit Pacific Northwest Trail Association has been gradually improving the route and erecting a few signs.