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.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

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.

Planning a Vacation? How About a Place Less Frequented?

April 15, 2011

Guest blogger Tina Perantonakis likes to check out lesser-known national parks – and some of them are free!

Growing up as a native Washingtonian, my knowledge of our national parks was limited to the sites in and surrounding the National Mall, such as the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. As I started traveling more throughout the United States, I had the opportunity to visit some of the most popular national parks, including Yellowstone, Redwood, and Golden Gate, but I gained the most pleasure in discovering and exploring those that are lesser known. Most recently, I visited Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.  Mesa Verde houses arguably the most impressive cliff dwellings of the Ancestral Pueblo people. 
To commemorate National Park Week, which is April 16-24, 2011, I am highlighting a book published by the National Park Service: The National Parks: Index 2009-2011. This book has become indispensable in my travel planning, as it contains listings of National Park System areas by state, in addition to National Heritage Areas, National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and the National Trails System. Although the Index is not intended to be a guidebook, nor does it contain standard guidebook information such as visiting hours, trails, and campground locations, it does provide the administrative addresses and brief descriptions of the sites – and these descriptions often include interesting facts.  Did you know that there is a national park in American Samoa devoted to protecting tropical rainforests, coral reefs, and fruit bats?  I certainly did not – until I read the entry in the National Parks Index.

This year, the National Park Service will be offering several fee-free days at more than 100 parks that usually charge an entrance fee.  I plan to take advantage of the fee-free days by visiting several Civil War historical sites, including Antietam National Battlefield  in Maryland and Appomattox Court House National Historical Park inVirginia.

For more information on National Parks Week, visit here. To take advantage of the National Park Service free entrance days, visit here.  To purchase a copy of The National Parks: Index 2009-2011, visit here.  You can also find it in a library.

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