On America’s Trails

September 30, 2016

stelprdbLet’s talk briefly about two American legends celebrated on screen and page. One stretches 2,160 miles from Mount Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. The second covers 2,665 miles from America’s southern and northernmost borders along the mountain ranges of Washington, Oregon, and California.

They’re the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, respectively—the first scenic trails designated by the Federal government nearly a half-century ago. On October 2, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Trails System Act into law. It established a network of scenic, historic, and recreation trails. You can read the original act on GPO’s govinfo.

Until 1968, the Federal government simply built and maintained trails on Federal lands. The National Trails System Act expanded that role by providing funding and support for interstate coordination and volunteer partnerships. Today, the National Trails System includes 20 national scenic and historic trails traversing nearly 40,000 miles.

In addition to making the National Trails System Act available on govinfo, GPO makes available these trail-related resources:

024-005-01277-0National Trails System: Map and Guide

This National Park Service full-color map depicts eight national scenic trails and nine national historic trails. The National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management work in concert to keep trails well-marked and well-monitored. Check out the NPS website for the complete list of scenic and historic trails.

The Iditarod National Historic Trail (Poster)

024-011-00198-1_01On one side of this U.S. Forest Service poster is a timeline and map.  On the other side is a photo of a 1913 dog sled mail team. Together, they commemorate a historic 1,500 miles stretch of winter travel tracks connected to form America’s last gold rush trail.

Upon throwing his support behind a national system of trails, President Johnson said, “The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride horseback, or bicycle. For them we must have trails as well as highways…In the back country we need to copy the great Appalachian Trail in all parts of our country…”


Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

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Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

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